Srinagar: As people were sitting and chatting amid the cool breeze on Sunday afternoon, dark smoke coming out from a small window of a closed shop caught their attention.
And just as they called the owner of the building and lifted up the shutter, “flames as huge as mountains came out, appearing to destroy everything in the vicinity,” they said.
And in no time the fire was overwhelming all the four stories and the attic of the structure. The building’s ground floor houses a godown accommodating automobile accessories while the remaining floors were being renovated, said Ali Mohammad Faffu, owner of the building.
Faffu and his son were planning to use the building as a hotel, but the material stored inside it which was to be used in the renovation was damaged in the fire, said the jolted father-son duo.
“Allah is the best planner,” Faffu kept repeating to everyone rushing towards him in consolation.
The heat emanating from the fire was too scorching to bear, said a firefighter. “I have never witnessed this much heat,” gasping for breath, he added.
It ignited from the ground floor and gripped all the four stories, added his comrade as they watched people taking out charcoaled seat-cover bags and other engulfed items out on the facade of the shop.
Have to make sure fire doesn’t ignite from something else even after being extinguished, donning dark-blue bunker gears with reflectors and yellow helmets, they both asserted.
“Thank God it was daytime and not dark, otherwise it might have caused some serious damage,” said another firefighter as he squeezed water from his drenched clothes.
Fortunately, no loss of life was reported from the incident as the fire was brought “under control in six-minutes,” the firefighters said.
Sirens reverberated across several adjoining areas as teams from Babedemb, Habba Kadal, Gaw Kadal stations, and also from the Batamaloo headquarters reached the spot.
The estimated cost of the property damaged as per the owner and his associates is around Rs 65 lakhs.