July 3, 2021 12:53:20 am
Eleven cars went up in flames and were charred beyond recognition at an open plot on Sun Pharma Road in the city on Friday. The police are yet to contact the owner of the plot while the fire department says ascertaining the cause of fire is almost impossible.
The Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) received a call around 2.57 pm Friday regarding a fire at the open plot where a few cars were parked. When fire tenders from the GIDC and Vadiwadi fire stations reached the spot, the cars had already been burned beyond recognition.
GIDC fire station sub-officer Darshan Kothari, who was the first to reach the spot, told this newspaper, “I was at the spot in a matter of minutes but the cars had already gone up in flames. We know there were no number plates and the cars were mostly of the common make and a mix of sedans and hatchbacks but to tell the make or model is impossible. The police was also at the spot and tried to question the people around the plot. We learnt that the cars had been parked there for over three years without any claimants. The officials too waited for nearly an hour after dousing the flames, but no one turned up to claim any of the vehicles.”
The VFES officials said the fire would most likely be an act of sabotage although an official report is yet to be prepared. An official said, “It is almost impossible for a car lying unused for such a long time, which is at least three years, to go up in flames like that. Someone must have probably started the fire. Only a police investigation into the CCTV footage or other evidences will help join the dots on whether it was accidental or deliberate arson.”
As many as four branded car showrooms are located around the one-kilometre periphery of the plot. The vicinity also has numerous corporate offices and commercial setups. However, officials say that since no individual turned up to claim any vehicle from the spot, the likelihood of the cars being owned and running would be low.
Commissioner of Police Shamsher Singh told this newspaper that the JP Road Police station, which is investigating the case, has begun tracing the owner of the plot, who is said to be based in Ahmedabad. Singh said, “We have learnt that they were scrap cars. The fire could not have begun on its own and the investigation is on to ascertain if it was started by accident or on purpose. We are expecting more clarity once the owner of the plot arrives.”
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