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ABBOTTABAD/TIMERGARA: Six shops, including a cotton godown, were gutted in Abbottabad and Lower Dir on Sunday. Four shops, including a cotton godown, were reduced to ashes when fire broke out at a building adjacent to the Abbottabad city police station.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started at the cotton godown owned by Jehangir Khan in the thickly populated area of Abbottabad city which quickly spread to adjacent shops. The fire reduced the four shops to ashes. A portion of the city police station was also damaged.

They said four fire tenders of the local administration, two each from the Abbottabad cantonment board and Mansehra municipal committee put out the fire after three hours. DSP Abbottabad Aziz Afridi supervised the rescue work. He also ordered to shift all the record, ammunition and other material from the city police station.

Later, provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani, DPO Abbottabad Sher Akbar Khan and assistant commissioner Mir Ozgan also visited the spot and witnessed the rescue operation.

In Timergara, two shops were gutted when a fire broke out in a mobile phone shop at Kumbar bazaar in the jurisdiction of Lal Qila Police station late on Saturday night, police and residents said.

They said the fire broke out due to electric short-circuit which caused extensive damage to shops. The local residents and police reached the spot soon after the smoke started rising from the shops and put out the blaze after hectic efforts. The Maidan residents demanded compensation for shop owners.

Meanwhile, Arshad Ali, 20, resident of Adam Dherai, was killed when a live electricity wire fell on him on the Chakdara-Timergara road at Gaddar. The residents of Adam Dherai led by tehsil councillor Madad Khan blocked the road for some time against the Pesco authorities for not carrying out maintenance of its infrastructure in the region. The protesting residents demanded action against the negligent Pesco officials.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2015

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