A major fire broke out early Sunday at a five-storey building in southern Kolkata, gutting goods worth lakhs and destroying multiple shops next to the building, a senior fire department official said. At least 19 fire tenders had been pressed into service to douse the fire at Traders Assembly building in Gariahat area after it was noticed around 1 am. The building houses a garment store on the ground and first floor and residential apartments on the floors above, the official told PTI. All families have been evacuated from the building and no one was injured in the fire, the official said, adding that some people had to be taken to hospital after they complained of breathing problems.
“The building does not have an elevator and people had to climb downstairs to escape the fire,” the official said.
The exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, but it seems that fire from a shop on the footpath adjoining the building led to the incident, he said.
“At the moment, the fire has been brought under control. Our men are fighting tooth and nail to douse the fire pockets,” the official said, adding that traffic movement has been temporarily restricted in the area.
Earlier, a fire department official had said that a blast in a transformer could have started the fire.
State Fire Minister Sujit Bose visited the site earlier in the day.
A team of forensic experts and senior officials of Kolkata Police Disaster Management Group have also reached the site to collect samples for an investigation into the incident.