A major fire broke out at the congested cloth market of Akalgarh, Chaura Bazaar in Old City, on Sunday.
Short circuit is suspected to be the reason as open and entangled wires keep hanging at the market.
Destroying goods worth lakhs, the fire exposed the power and fire brigade departments of Ludhiana when there was no driver to ferry more fire tenders available with the department. The shopkeepers rushed the same driver again on their scooter to come back with another fire tender as the fire continued to spread.
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“It was second incident in two months and fourth incident in the past few years. Bunches of wire hang in the open on our heads and anything can happen anytime. Multiple complaints have been made to PSPCL.
Today fire brigade showed how inefficient it is as they had no driver to get more fire tending vehicles. We rushed driver on our scooter as fire continued to spread,” said Gurdeep Singh Gosha, from Chaura Bazaar Market Association.
Gosha is also a senior leader of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.
As the market is so congested, it took more than half an hour for fire tenders to reach the spot. Fire broke out at Sunder Kala Cloth store which is a triple-storey building.
Gurmail Singh, a fire official, said, “We got a call at 2.10 pm, and we sent a 15-member team with six fire tenders which took around two and a half hours to douse the fire.”
However, shopkeepers claimed that more than 100 people from around the market helped the fire personnel and only then could the fire be controlled.
Singh said that the preliminary investigation revealed that the reason behind this fire incident was short circuit. The exact damage was yet to be known.
The shopkeepers plan to protest against PSPCL at Chaura Bazaar on Monday for not removing the naked wires hanging at the market. “Luckily, no one died but anything could have happened. A protest will be held tomorrow,” said Gosha.