A major fire broke out early Friday at the three-storey building of a prominent cloth shop in the wholesale market of the city, gutting property worth crores.
However, no injury or loss of life was reported in the incident.
Eyewitnesses said the fire was spotted by a sweeper at 7 am. The sweeper immediately informed the fire brigade service and the shop owner Radheshyam Insan.
“I was informed about the incident at 7:30 am and the delay in the arrival of fire brigade vehicle escalated the damage,” said Radheyshyam who has been running the shop for 12 years.
The authorities concerned were caught napping as the fire brigade station which is situated around half a kilometre from the spot of incident took around an hour to reach.
“The vehicle was not in a good condition and the staff too did not have proper costume as one of them was wearing slippers while dousing the flames. The fire brigade vehicle did not have sufficient water and later it was moved manually from the site by locals and policemen,” said Satpal Goyal, president of Vyapar Mandal.
Fire tenders of a local thermal power plant and a fertiliser plant with CISF personnel came to their rescue helping extinguish the fire.
Members of Shah Satnam Ji Green Welfare Force, DSS, Sirsa, also offered help.Fire brigade officials denied allegations of negligence while performing their duty.
“We took a few minutes and carried out our duty with great responsibility,” said Balkar Singh, station officer at the fire brigade office.
He clarified that they asked for assistance from the thermal power plant and the fertiliser plant to control the fire in less time.
Officials of the district administration reached the spot two hours after the building caught fire. Deputy commissioner Basant Garg said nothing could be said on the incident without proper investigation.
The reason behind fire has not yet been ascertained. Local residents ruled out the possibility of vendetta or business dispute behind the fire incident.
DC Garg said the store owner had availed insurance cover for his shop and he would get compensation but did not acknowledge lapse on the part of the fire brigade.
About the sorry state of electric wires looming over streets and lack of fire alarms in the market, he said a proper inquiry would be held to establish the actual reason behind the incident.
He even called for a joint meeting with the businessmen of the locality later in the evening.
There are high chances of similar incidents happening in future as electric wires are seen hanging at a very low height and at some places.
No safety measures have been adopted by the local businessmen and the authorities too have not made enough efforts to create awareness on the same.