The SDPO said fire broke out from the residential house of Muneer Ahmad Wani and within minutes engulfed nearby houses

 At least 12 residential houses were damaged in a fire in Abi Guzar locality Sunday, police and reports said adding two persons were hurt in the incident.

“Today at about 10:30 a.m fire broke out in Abi Guzar area in the jurisdiction of police station Kothi Bagh. Seven houses were gutted while five others were damaged in the incident,” a police handout said adding a police party headed by SDPO Kothi Bagh Sheikh Faisal “rushed to the spot and facilitated the evacuation of 33 families that were affected in the fire incident.” 

The SDPO said fire broke out from the residential house of Muneer Ahmad Wani and within minutes engulfed nearby houses.

“Fire tenders, police team from Kothi Bagh police station and locals were pressed into service to douse the blazes. During the operation two persons including Manzoor Ahmad Wani and a fireman were hurt”, he said.

An official of the Fire and Emergency Services Department said firefighting remained a tough task in this congested locality at a stone’s throw from the City center of Lal Chowk.

Aadil a 5-year-old kid was seen crying on the road as his house was on fire while women were seen beating chests. Firemen said fire was completely doused by 2:45 pm.

Given the previous damage to these houses in the September floods, experts said the latest incident has left them further unsafe for inhabitation. “All these houses need to be declared fully damaged as they are unfit for human inhabitation,” said a former Revenue Officer.

Police identified those whose houses were damaged today as; Reyaz Ahmad Kako, Muhammad Shafi Koka, Ali Muhammad Koka, Muneer Ahmad Munshi, Bashir Ahmad Malik, Ashiq Hussain Malik, Nazir Ahmad Bhat, Showkat Ahmad Wani, Bashir Ahmad Malik, Reyaz Ahmad Malik, Manzoor Ahmad Wani Muhammad Isaq Mir and Shabir Hussain Malik.

Meanwhile the Deputy Commissioner, Farooq Ahmed Lone along with Assistant Commissioner Revenue visited Abi Guzar and took stock of damage to the houses.

“Assuring all possible help to the affected families, the Deputy Commissioner gave Rs 2,000 and blankets out of Red Cross to each family as immediate relief,” an official handout said.

“He also directed the revenue officials to immediately process the relief case for each affected family under the National Calamity Relief Fund.”

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and MLA elect Amira Kadal, Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari has expressed deep shock and grief over the incident.

In a statement Bukhari asked the “administration to provide all necessary relief to the fire victims at the earliest.”

He has also called for an “immediate assessment of losses suffered by the fire victims and disbursement of compensation to these families.”

While expressing solidarity with the victim families, Bukhari assured them of every possible help in their rehabilitation.