26 structures gutted in Gurez
Bandipora, Oct 3: At least 26 structures, including 16 houses and 10 cowsheds, were destroyed in a devastating blaze at Gurez in this north Kashmir district on Monday.
The fire broke out at Jerry Jozy Mohalla of Kilshay village near the Line of Control (LoC) early this morning. However, before the leaping flames could be brought under control, it spread to adjoining areas within minutes.
Officials while giving the details said 16 residential houses, 2 schools, one Masjid and 16 cowsheds were completely gutted while nine other structures were partially damaged in the inferno. However, there was no loss of life in the incident.
Sources said that Army and locals reached the spot and started rescue operation, carrying water in buckets and other utensils to douse the rising flames. However, their efforts failed to yield any results till the fire spread.
Though civil authorities and Fire Services Department said that the exact reasons for the fire were yet to be ascertained, villagers alleged that a minor fire engulfed the entire area as fire tenders failed to reach on time.
An Army spokesman said soldiers provided shelter to the affected people. “Army doctors were pressed into service. In addition, the entire population of 400 persons was distributed food and provided blankets by the soldiers,” the spokesman said.
Locals said that due to lack of fire fighting facilities in the area huge damage is caused to the property in such incidents.
“Every year we are losing property worth crores of rupees but government is not taking any serious steps to control these accidents,” said Hashim Samoon Lone, a local resident.
Fire accidents are common in Gurez valley especially during the winters when people make use of heaters.
According to government records, about 1946 houses, eleven Masjids and nine schools have been gutted in nine fire incidents since 2006 in the area.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipore, Manzoor Ahmad Lone said, “We rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation.”
“The immediate relief material has been distributed among the fire victims and more material is being dispatched to the spot,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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