Property worth crores of rupees were gutted, as fire, started to burn stubble, spread to an adjoining house at Kanha village, on the Tibba-RCF road on Friday evening.
It took fire tenders the entire night to douse the flames, which were also difficult to control due to the high-speed winds. Some vehicles were also gutted in the fire.
Kapurthala Daljeet Singh Mangat arrived at the spot and controlled the rescue operations till midnight.
On Saturday, he ordered the SDM to assess the loss and submit an action taken report on the incident.
Sources said that unidentified farmers started a fire to burn stubble, in spite of a ban imposed by district magistrate.
The fire spread due to high-speed winds and burnt down the wheat chaff stored inside the house owned by Gurdeep Singh, Gurbaksh Singh and Gurnam Singh. Soon, the blaze spread to the store on the ground floor and also engulfed the first floor.
"We have lost nearly 100 trolleys of wheat chaff, three motorcycles, a scooter, a big generator set, tyres of one combine. Ten buffaloes have also been injured. The roof of the store has also been damaged," said Satwel Singh Bhullar, a relative of the family.
"The family has reported a loss estimate of Rs. 1.5 crore," said patwari Joginder Singh.
Four fire-tenders worked on the job, villagers rue slow work
Four fire-tenders, two from Kapurthala, one each from Hamira and RCF, were deployed to douse the fire on the first floor of the house, where the family stored the wheat chaff.
"Tenders arrived late. They also had come ill-prepared and the operation was mis-managed. Fire tenders had to travel nearly 10 km to the RCF to get water refill. They should have simply made arrangements to get water from any submersible motor installed in the village," said local resident Niranjan Singh.
He claimed that their slow pace led to more loss.
"We called up all the fire stations situated nearby, but most pleaded to be busy in their areas. We did our best and worked the whole night to put out the fire," said a fire department employee.
"People need to be made more aware of the dangers of stubble burning. This must be curbed. I have asked the Sultanpur Lodhi SDM to assess the exact loss and file a report. Directions have also been issued Kapurthala SSP to book farmers who continue to burn the stubble in their fields. In this regard, orders issued under Section 144 must be strictly implemented," said deputy commissioner Daljeet Singh Mangat.
"Had it not rained last night, the loss could have been more," he added.
"Insufficient and poor infrastructure with fire department is a matter of concern. I will take up this matter with the authorities concerned."