At least three houses were reduced to ashes in a massive fire in Plan area of north Kashmir's Bandipora town late Monday evening.
According to witnesses, the fire started from one of the houses located at Ward No 3 near Masjid Owais-e-Karni at 8:15 pm, which later spread to the adjacent houses, damaging them completely.
The houses belonged to two brothers, Shabir Ahmad Mir and Mehrajuddin, and Muhammad Yousuf Mir while Farooq Ahmad Mir's house was partially damaged.
"These families are not well off," Sahir, a local said.
The fire did not allow the families to retrieve any of their belongings.
"The Fire and Emergency department arrived on time but with only one fire tender, which was not going to be enough to dose off the flames. Later, NHPC also arrived with a fire tender but the blaze had been put off by then," Sahir said.
Malik Nazir, a local said the houses went up in flames, reducing everything to the rubble.
"One can feel their plight in such a harsh climate," he said.
Appealing the government to help these hapless families, Nazir they had put up at the houses of their relatives.
The cause of the fire was not known immediately but is presumed to be due to short circuit.
The Revenue department has estimated the damage to property worth lakhs of rupees.