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After fighting Fashion Street fire, PCB fire chief dies in road accident

Over 600 shops were completely gutted after a major fire broke out at the famous Fashion Street market in the Camp area of Pune late on Friday night, officials said
By Nadeem Inamdar & Shalaka Shinde, Pune
PUBLISHED ON MAR 27, 2021 07:23 PM IST

Over 600 shops were completely gutted after a major fire broke out at the famous Fashion Street market in the Camp area of Pune late on Friday night, officials said.

While there were no casualties in the blaze, the head of the Pune Cantonment Board’s (PCB) fire department was killed in a road accident while returning home after dousing the fire.

Prakash Hasbe died after his two-wheeler came under the wheels of a bus on Saturday morning around 6.30 am. He was on his way home to Viman Nagar after dousing the fire at Fashion Street.

According to police officials, Hasbe was riding home to his house in Nagpur chawl on his two-wheeler when his bike collided head-on with a PMPML bus.

The driver of the bus was identified as Mallesh Nagnath Jadhav (36), a resident of Nigdi who has been detained by the police.

“We have detained him, and a case is getting registered. The bike was moving on the slightly curved road connecting jail road police chowki to 509 chowk. There is no divider on the curve and both the vehicles collided head-on,” said senior police inspector Gajanan Pawar of Vimantal police station.

A case under Sections 279, 304(a) of Indian Penal Code and Section 184 of Motor Vehicle Act is getting registered at Vimantal police station.

PCB CEO Amit Kumar said, “He called me at around 2 am and briefed me that the fire was under control. He left the spot very late to go to Viman Nagar. After that, there was no information, his son who became anxious called saying that Hasbe did not return. Later, he received a call from someone that his father met with an accident and they were taking him to Sahyadri hospital. It’s a tragic incident which took place early morning.”

Fashion Street adjacent to MG Road is a famous `window shopping’ destination that houses small outlets selling garments, shoes, goggles and other accessories. Local traders said there were 448 registered shops and over 200 unauthorised outlets located in the market.

The clothes and other material in the market were gutted in fire, and it took six hours for the fire brigade to douse the blaze completely using 45 water tankers. The cause of what triggered the fire is being ascertained, officials said.

Even though the market was shut, the fire brigade had a tough time negotiating the narrow lanes, which were encroached and had vehicles haphazardly parked. Precious time was lost in all this, said officials.

Local trader Munaf Qureshi said “I have suffered loss of 30 lakh as the entire lot of brand new clothes was burnt in the fire. We have gone back by ten years due to this incident.” Another trader Nazim Sayyed said “We want the PCB to provide financial help so that we can start our business again. The traders are shattered as this incident has affected livelihood of hundreds of families.”

The fire department received calls at 11 pm and water tankers were rushed to the spot but as the fire spread rapidly due to the small stalls being stacked with clothes, more tankers had to be sent.

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