Property worth lakhs was gutted in a major fire that broke out in five of the shops in the Sector 54 furniture market in the wee hours of Saturday. Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire-fighters had to battle the blaze for four-and-a-half-hours during which fire tenders from Mohali, too, were called. While officials said that the cause of the fire is unknown, the owner of the furniture workshop where the fire started suspects foul play.
Although some workers were sleeping inside two of the shops, they escaped as soon as the fire started and nobody was injured in the incident.
According to officials, some vendors sleeping in the open near the furniture market noticed smoke and fire in one of the furniture shops at around 2 am, after which they informed the fire department. The shops which caught fire have been identified as Bharat Steel furniture, Sunshine Furniture, Balbir Singh & Sons Furniture Workshop, Manku Furniture Workshop and Ram Pravesh Furniture Shop.
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Hundreds of goods including steel, wooden and plastic chairs, sofas, beds, plywood, boards, machinery, office furniture, cupboards and other furniture items and equipment were destroyed. Witnesses said that the fire started in the Manku Furniture Workshop and spread to the neighbouring shops.Workshop owner Kamaldeep Singh alleged, “Power supply to the entire market is cut off everyday at 10 pm.
Moreover, we remove all circuits to ensure there is no untoward incident. We strongly suspect that it was a mischief by somebody. Everything that we had is destroyed.”