Around 150 shops were gutted while four buildings collapsed partially after a massive fire had broken out in the narrow lanes of Bhagirath Palace market in old Delhi, officials said on Friday, adding the fire is yet to be completely brought under control.
Several traders, whose shops were in the market, waited impatiently to enter their incinerated shops to recover whatever was left but were not allowed by policemen, who had cordoned off the area, fearing the buildings might collapse.
Officials said the cooling process was still underway.
According to Sagar Singh Kalsi, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), about 150 shops were affected by the blaze, and four buildings had partly collapsed in Mahalaxmi and Hariram market of Bhagirath Palace.
"As of now, almost 24 hours have passed but still the fire is not completely under control. However, no casualty, has been reported till now. After detailed assessment of the damages and situation, legal action will be taken as per law," said Kalsi.
According to Delhi Fire Services (DFS) Director Atul Garg, a call regarding fire at a shop was received around 9.20 p.m. on Thursday.
The fire that broke out in a shop later spread to other shops including adjacent buildings.
The fire department said that since last night, about 70-80 fire tenders have been sent to spot to douse the flames.
Meanwhile, 17 to 18 tenders are still on site working for cooling operations.
The narrow lanes, weak structures and shortage of water posed a major challenge for the fire department to carry out its fire-fighting operations.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter: "This incident of fire in Bhagirath Palace market of Chandni Chowk late last night is very sad. Since last night, the fire brigade personnel have been working hard to douse the fire. I am constantly taking information about this from the district administration."
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