At least three houses were reduced to ashes in a massive blaze in the Plan area of north Kashmir's Bandipora town late Monday.
Witnesses said the fire erupted from one of the houses located in Ward No 3 near Masjid Owais-i-Karni (RA) around 8:15 PM and later spread to the adjacent houses, damaging them completely.
"The houses belonged to three brothers among which two of the families are not very well off," said Sahir, a local.
In the massive fire incident, the inmates of two houses, according to the witnesses, were unable to retrieve anything.
"It broke my heart witnessing the houses of my neighbours, who are my relatives as well, go up in flames. I could feel the plight they were going through in such a harsh climate, it is a tragedy," said Nisar Malik.
Witnesses said a non-local family had stayed put on rent in one the houses from which the fire is believed to have erupted.
The witnesses said the fire and emergency department arrived on time but only with one fire tender. "It was not enough to douse off the flames, later on. NHPC also arrived with a fire tender but the fire was doused off by then," said Sahir.
A team of revenue officials arrived at the spot to inspect the damages, said an official.
The families are presently staying put at their relatives' homes, locals said, even as they appealed to the general public to help the affected families who had become homeless after the fire incident.