A massive fire broke out last night at a building in central Kolkata’s Bagri Market area. About 30 fire engines were trying to douse the fire in the congested area on Canning Street. There has been no injury as the fire broke out late in the night and no one was present.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee visited the area early in the morning and oversaw firefighting efforts. “The fire broke out at 2.45 am. We are trying our best but firefighting operation is tough here because of the number of buildings,” he said.
The fire has been so massive that black smoke engulfed the whole area. Even after eight hours, firefighters were finding it difficult to to bring the blaze under control.
“As the area is very congested, we are finding it difficult to work. We are using hydraulic ladder and gas cutters to cut through the grills of the gates and small windows to enter the building,” a senior official was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
The fire started at ground floor of the five storied building and spread rapidly due to huge stock of inflammable articles, local media reported. The building, 71 Canning Street, houses several medicine shops, jewellery and cosmetics trading outlets.
There were complaints of fire engines reaching late to the spot.
Firefighters fear that if the flames could not be contained at the earliest, it may spread to nearby buildings. Kolkata Police’s disaster management group and civil defence unit was also helping the efforts to douse the fire.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while leaving for Europe trip, told reporters at the airport, “Nobody is trapped in the building. Also, no report of any casualty or injury has reached us.”
Traffic restrictions have also been imposed in the area due to the fire.