This Diwali, at least 35 buildings, including offices and houses, in the city caught fire, officials said, with fire crackers believed to be a major cause for most incidents.
Property and goods worth crores were destroyed in the incidents, but there were no casualties as firefighters worked throughout Wednesday night to save lives.
Nearly 50 people were rescued from Gur Mandi after fire broke out in a six-storey residential building, which also houses a few shops.
Fire officer Rajinder Sharma said fire tenders from all the stations in the vicinity had to be rushed to Gur Mandi, a highly congested area, to save the fire from spreading.
“It was difficult to go inside as there were many shops in the building… we broke the shutters of the shops one by one to douse the fire,” Sharma said.
A major fire also broke out at Kapil garments in Fatehgarh Mohalla. Five fire tenders were rushed to douse the flames that reportedly destroyed articles worth lakhs.
A major fire also erupted at a shop in Munidian Kalan and at Best Price mall near Jalandhar bypass.
A surge in fire incidents is a routine affair on Diwali. This year, however, the number of incidents has gone up from last year when the city reported 28 fires.
“With great efforts and hard work of the firefighting teams, fire was doused successfully at all places,” said assistant divisional fire officer Bhupinder Singh.
Although police are still investigating the exact cause of the fires, Singh said crackers seemed to be a major reason.
Another fire official said hot air balloons and sky lanterns released by people had led to fire at many places. The district administration has imposed a ban on sky balloons.
Houses, shops, factories
Sources in the fire department said a family was rescued after a house caught fire at Miller Ganj. Also, two floors of a house at Basant Avenue were gutted in a fire, while another house at Chowani Mohalla was gutted.
In another incident, a fire damaged goods and property worth lakhs in a house near Lakkar Bazaar.
Fire officials said fire also broke out at shops at Samrala Chowk, Gaushala Road, Peeru Banda Road, Gill Road, Makkar Colony and Salai Bazar. A few factories at Eastman chowk, Daba Road, Benjamin Road, Manna Singh Nagar and Focal Point also caught fire, they added.
Fire was also reported from a godown at Lakkar Bazar, a timber store Shivpuri Chowk, besides buildings near
Manju Cinema, Jalandhar bypass, Dugri police station and Transport Nagar.
Panic gripped residents when vacant plots caught fire due to bursting of crackers. The wild grass in the vacant plots at the Green Field, Kitchlu Nagar, near Cheema Chowk, Preetam Puri and Ram Nagar were engulfed in flames, as locals sprung into action to douse the fire before the fire tenders, which were busy at other places, reached.