Bandipora: Three residential houses were gutted in a fire incident at Ganai Mohalla in Kaloosa area of Bandipora district on Monday afternoon. Five families comprising of 35 souls were rendered homeless and they had to take shelter elsewhere.
Reports quoting eyewitnesses said the affected families suffered huge losses and could not save any of their belongings.
An eyewitness said the fire started from a house and it immediately engulfed the other two adjacent houses. Personnel of Fire and Emergency Services Department, police and army rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
Locals told Greater Kashmir that the fire left the families not only homeless but reduced to ashes their belonging which included raw material for Kangiris and in some cases cash too.
The affected families’ heads were identified as Ghulam Mohammad, Manzoor Ahmad, Manzoor Iqbal, Akhter Hussain, and Mohammad Akbar. Some of the families said the raw materials they had painstakingly collected for their weaving work including wicker, willow sticks, and other supplies have got damaged. They had got loans from others to buy the material and were to pay back after selling the Kangris.
Some eyewitnesses and locals at the site said that a power short-circuit was the suspected cause behind the fire. However, the officials said they are investing as to what caused the fire. A woman said, "I have been left with the clothes I wore; everything else has been lost. I can not even cook a meal." She said that all the material has been reduced to ashes, and a cash of some lakh rupees was also damaged.
The officials from the revenue department confirmed that three structures were damaged in the fire and that 35 souls were affected. "They lived in abject poverty," Tehsildar Bandipora Tariq Ahmad told Greater Kashmir. Many locals appealed to the higher authorities to compensate the poor families "We need to come forward to help these poor souls," Nisar Ahmad, a local, said.