Odisha: Puri Market Complex Fire Doused After 36 hours; Panel Formed For Probe

Puri: After 36 hours of rigorous firefighting, the blaze that had been razing in Laxmi Market Complex at Marichikot Chhak on Grand Road in Odisha’s Puri town since Wednesday evening was completely doused this morning

After properly inspecting all parts of the complex, which is about 300 metres from Jagannath Temple, fire service personnel declared that that the fire has been completely extinguished and ruled out any danger from the building.

A total of 43 commercial outlets and a bank were reduced to ashes in the fire. Assets worth crores of rupees perished.

While at least 350 people were evacuated to safety, the building’s narrow entrance and downed shutters impede the operation as the fire services personnel could not use water canons to douse the blaze.  The heat was so intense that it melted the iron shutters of shops and the entire building became a cauldron with chunks of roof caving in. Water canons were used to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings, firefighters said.

Eight firefighting teams from Satyabadi, Nimapara, Gop and nearby areas, another four along with an ODRAF squad from Bhubaneswar were engaged to control the blaze. Three persons sustained minor injuries while a fire services personnel suffered burns in the mishap.

Meanwhile, the district administration has formed a committee to be led by the Puri sub-collector to look into the cause of the fire. Local tehsildar and IIC among other senior officials will be its members.

Following this major fire, various quarters have raised question of fire safety measure in buildings and market complexes in the Pilgrim Town. Locals alleged that the Puri Konark Development Authority (PKDA) has approved many building plans without fulfilling the mandatory fire safety and parking norms.

They have demanded monitoring of the fire safety measures on a regular basis.

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