Fire at unauthorised furniture market halts Metro services
As many as 20 shops and warehouses used for storing wooden and metal furniture were gutted in a fire that
broke out at the Kalindi Kunj furniture market in the early hours of Friday.
Fire department officials said it took them three hours and 17 fire tenders to douse the blaze. The fire — that broke out right under the elevated Magenta Line Metro track next to Kalindi Kunj Metro station — forced Metro services to remain suspended for over two hours in the morning.
While no casualties were reported, local shopkeepers and godown owners claimed huge losses.
Atul Garg, chief fire officer, Delhi Fire Services, said they got a call reporting the fire at 5.26am and that it was put off by 9.15am.
Garg said 17 fire tenders and 60 men struggled for more than three hours to control the blaze. “Since the fire was right under the elevated Metro track of the Magenta Line, our priority was to first douse the fire under the tracks as Metro services were suspended. The main challenge was that there was a lot of wooden raw material and foam which had fuelled the fire. There was so much material stashed that even after the fire was doused, the cooling process took another three hours,” Garg said.
Abdul Mohammad Ayub Khan, who owns a godown that was gutted in the fire, said the area had a total of 20-22 shops and godowns, which were used to stash wooden furniture, almirahs, metal gates and doors frames.
Khan said he woke up to a call from another godown owner at 5.30am, wherein the caller informed him of the fire. “I rushed to the spot and found that half the shops had already been reduced to ashes. Fire fighters present at the spot were struggling to control the fire. Police vans and local residents had also thronged the place,” Khan said.
Stating that about 10-15 labourers were sleeping at the shops and godowns, he said they, however, managed to escape in time.
Khan, who has been running his godown for the past 12 years, claimed the entire market has lost raw materials and furniture worth more than ₹10 crore.
Another eyewitness, Mommahd Rajik, who hails from Vaishali in Bihar and runs a shop close to the furniture market, said he arrived at the spot at 7am — his regular time.
“I saw shop owner mourning and crying over the losses they incurred. There were about 20 shops and godowns and all of them are completely destroyed,” he said.
Fire fighters said the furniture market was set up across an area of more than 2,000 square metres, next to a scrap unit.
Fire officials also said the market that is an illegal set-up.
SDMC spokesperson Radha Krishan said the land belongs to the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department.
However, Davendra Thakur, executive engineer, UP irrigation department, said, “The irrigation department does not own the land where the fire broke out on Friday.”