— White Star
— White Star

RAWALPINDI: A fire gutted a five-storey commercial building housing more than 20 shops of hosiery products, garments and cotton bales in Raja Bazaar.

A shopper also sustained burn injuries.

The fire broke out in the building located in Namak Mandi at about 3:50am on Friday.

The building has been declared as ‘dangerous’ and could become unstable. It is being sealed by Civil Defence on recommendations of district emergency officer Dr Abdul Rehman.

“There was no fire extinguishing cylinders in any shop while walk-through way was also blocked by shopkeepers due to which firefighters faced difficulty to control the flames,” Dr Rehman told Dawn. Besides 12 fire vehicles, water bowzers, rescue vehicles and firefighters from Attock, Islamabad, Bahria Town and other areas were also called to the site.

Though the fire was brought under control by more than 40 firefighters after three houses, the cooling process continued till the sunset as the gowdowns were stuffed with hosiery products, garments and cotton bales.

Initial findings of rescue services said the fire broke out in a cotton shop and spread all over the building.

Sherjeel Mir, president traders’ union, said Rescue 1122 staff had done well to control the fire and now it was the responsibility of the government to compensate the traders who suffered a huge losses.

The fire department said the cause of the fire was yet to be investigated.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020

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