At least 17 shops were gutted in a fire incident at Shalimar market here last night.
Officials said 14 fire tenders from across the city were rushed to the spot to control the fire. "Gas cylinders in food outlets situated in market exploded adding more intensity to the fire. It took us more than four hours to control the fire," an official of Fire and Emergency Services said.
Ghulam Nabi Dar, who owns Kashmir Handicrafts shop in the market said, "we received a call at 3 am about the incident and we rushed to the spot. We saw the whole market on fire".
"The fire tenders reached the spot late," said Ghulam Rasool Bhat who owns a Dhaba in the market.
Meanwhile, some shopkeepers demanded an inquiry into the incident.
"We believe there is foul play behind the incident," they alleged.
Sub District Magistrate (SDM), Syed Hanief Balkhi visited the spot and took stock of the situation.
"There are different versions of the incident and we will make sure ascertain the circumstances which led to the fire," Balkhi told Greater Kashmir. He assured the affected shopkeepers of all possible help.