Kolkata, Jan 14: The fire in the biggest wholesale market Barabazar in Kolkata continued to rage for the third consecutive day on Monday despite army joining efforts of firefighters to douse the flames that have gutted around 2,500 shops and damaged eight multi-storey buildings.
The devastating inferno that started as a small fire in a shop two days ago in the Barabazar area has gobbled up savings of a lifetime of many traders. "I have lost my two shops in the fire. It has been almost three days now and the fire is still not under control. Nobody is able to do anything. The markets in and around Barabazar area are also now under threat. I fear the fire will spread from one market to another like this. Even the army tried its hand at extinguishing the fire without any success," said Praveen Surana, a businessman.
According to the residents, the fire broke out at around 2 a.m. raging across 'Tripalpatti' area of Barabazar .
The flames, which appeared to be under control on Sunday morning soon turned into a devastating inferno that leaped from one floor to another as the traders, watched helplessly.
At least 32 fire engines were rushed to the scene but due to the congestion and small lanes in the area, the capacity of fire fighters could not be fully utilised particularly the turn-table ladder.
Damages were estimated to be worth millions of rupees with goods burnt including electronic and plastic items, tarpaulin and garment and cloth materials.
According to reports, one shop owner at the market died due to heart failure while several firemen were injured. The intense heat generated by the flames have raised fears that a 13-storey building at Nandaram market in Barabazar might collapse.
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained.