HANDWARA: At least seven shops and a residential house were gutted in a massive fire incident in Qalamabad village in Handwara area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Reports said that a fire broke out in a residential house this afternoon. The raging flames soon after spread to a shopping complex in proximity near Jamia Masjid Qalamabad.
Responding to the exigency, Handwara Police, Army’s 30 RR and locals swung into action to douse off the flames. After hours of strenuous efforts, the blaze was controlled but not before it gutted at least seven shops and a double-storeyed residential house. Among the gutted shops included four of merchandise (Kiryana), two of hardware and one of a tailor. The residential house and the shopping complex are said to belong to one Ghulam Ahmad Najar.
The fire also caused minor damage to the attic portion of the Jamia Masjid Qalamabad.
Two civilians and a cop during the rescue operation suffered contusions and were administered with first aid at the site.
Chairman Jamia Masjid Qalamabad, Abdul Ghani Reshi while extending his gratitude to Handwara Police and local administration alongside Army’s 30 RR said that the timely action from them prevented the fire from spreading further. The mosque head however castigated the local unit of F&ES Department for failing to act on time, which according to him led to escalation of the blaze.
“We are highly thankful to Handwara Police, the local administration alongside Army’s 30 RR for their timely help and preventing the spread of fire”, he said adding “We however are highly agonized by the pathetic approach of the local F&ES Department unit which despite at a stone’s throw distance failed to perform its duty as otherwise expected.” (GNS)