28 shops gutted in Baba Reshi shrine's market

At least 28 shops were gutted in a devastating fire that erupted from a shop in the Baba Reshi shrine’s main market Saturday night.

A Police official said that fire started from a shop situated in the Baba Reshi market in Tangmarg are of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

He said that the fire spread over to other shops in a short time as most of the shops were constructed from wood.

“As soon as fire started, Police and locals rushed to the spot and started dousing the flames. It was after hectic efforts and with the help of fire tenders that fire was controlled,” he said.

Incharge Fire Service Tangmarg, Muhammad Muzaffar said that they received a call at around 12.40 am while fire had started at around 12 am.

“As soon as we the received call, fire tenders from different areas including Tangmarg, Kunzar, Magam and Kachu Muqam were rushed to the spot and it took several hours to douse the flames,” he said.

Most of the shops gutted in the incident sell traditional snacks for the devotees visiting the Baba Reshi shrine.

“The intensity of the fire was severe as scores of gas cylinders present inside the shops exploded and resulted in the fast spread of the fire,” Muzaffar said.

Meanwhile, locals urged the authorities to set up a fire station at Baba Reshi.

“Thousands of devotees visit the Baba Reshi shrine each year and scores of families stay here for some days. Most of the structures here are made of wood. A minor fire incident can turn devastative. So, we appeal the administration to set up a fire station,” said Farooq Ahmad, a local shopkeeper.