Cracks were on Tuesday found on the outer walls of the century-old building where a major fire has been raging for over 16 hours in the city’s wholesale market Burrabazar.
Fire fighters with 35 fire tenders continued their struggle to bring the blaze, which was noticed at around 9.35 PM yesterday, under control, fire department officials said.
No casualty has been reported from the building which has multiple godowns containing inflammable materials.
“Cracks were found on the exterior walls of the building. Our senior officers are there fighting the fire,” Fire Services Minister and city Mayor Sovan Chatterjee told.
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Fearing that the building may collapse, police had evacuated the building and adjacent houses last night, besides controlling traffic movement in nearby roads.
The ceiling of the third floor of the building has collapsed and the wooden staircase leading to the roof has been gutted, a senior fire department official said.
“Fire is still raging in different pockets of the building,” Chatterjee said.
The entire area has been cordoned off and locals are extending an helping hand to fire fighters who have found it difficult to reach the burning building as Amratala Lane, on which the building stands, is very congested.
Senior engineers of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and personnel from the state’s disaster management team are present on the spot.
On the reason of the fire, the officials said that it was yet to be ascertained but storage of inflammable material quickened the spread of fire.
Traders at the Burrabazar area have decided to keep the Bagri market closed for the entire day.