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2 person died in a late night blaze at Gorabazar civic market

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(G.N.S) Dt. 23
Kolkata
Two persons were charred to death in a late night blaze that gutted over 200 shops and a bank branch in Dum Dum’s Gorabazar civic market. More than 30 fire tenders battled for over 12 hours before the flames were finally doused. Preliminary inspection pointed to a possible short circuit triggering the fire. It was around 1.35am on Monday that a security guard rushed into Dum Dum police station and alerted the cops about the fire in the market barely 100 metres away. By the time policemen reached the spot, the fire had ignited shops stocked with plastic items.
Locals armed with buckets tried to splash water on the flames in a futile attempt to douse it before it hit the thatched shed. Once the shed caught fire, the flames began to spread fast, fuelled by swirling winds as well as inflammable goods stocked in shops. The first fire tender reached around 2.30pm. Thereafter, more fire tenders were requisitioned through the night.
While many workers and labourers who sleep in the market managed to flee, two tea stall workers — Vicky Shaw (22) and Sunil Shaw (35) — were engulfed by the flames.
The charred bodies of the two tea stall workers were recovered late on Monday morning.
Fish trader Parimal Das was lucky to escape. “I was sleeping inside my shop on the first floor with the shutters rolled down. I was woken by loud thuds on the shutter and heard someone shout, urging me to come out immediately,” Das said, recounting how he rolled up the shutter in a daze and saw the raging flames leap up. The casualty figures could have been higher had the fire leapt to the adjoining Harijan Basti. But, mercifully, the winds did not blow the fire its way. But the flames spread eastward and away from the access point, making it difficult for firemen to combat it.
“The biggest challenge was arranging continuous water supply as the large pond near the market is almost dry and is being desilted. We had to draw water from a small pond around 400m from the spot,” said a fire official. The fire, fuelled further by all kinds of inflammable items stocked in shops engulfed a UCO Bank’s branch on the first floor and a garment shop on the second. As gas cylinders stored inside restaurants blew up, many residents from nearby quarters vacated their homes.

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