A fire gutted down several dozens of shops at New Rajdhani Supermarket in the capital’s Tikatuli on Wednesday.
The fire originating at about 5:15pm burnt shops, mostly selling cosmetics and garment items, at the two storey tin-shed market, said Fire Service officials.
No casualties were reported so far.
Fire service director general Brigeder General Md Sazzad Hussain said that he found 14 to 15 shops gutted down in the market although the actual number of shops, total damage and origin of fire would be known after an investigation.
Babul Mia, owner of Foysal Bedding Store at the market, said that at least 25 shops were damaged in the fire including his shop. Other shopkeepers said that fire gutted more than 50 shops including some partially damaged.
‘25 fire fighting units brought the fire under control at about 6:35pm,’ Fire Service deputy director Devashis Bardhan told reporters at 7:15pm.
The fire began at a shop on the northeast side on the first floor of the market, he added.
‘We will form a committee to find out the cause of the fire and to assess the extent of damage,’ he further said.
Shop keepers suspected that the fire originated from a foam shop on the first floor of the market as welding works were underway beside the shop.
Bellowing smoke was seen over the market that housed mostly shops of clothes and cosmetics as members of law enforcement agencies were seen to manage the crowds blocking roads near the market.
A number of shop owners said that the shops that stocked warm cloths ahead of winter season were burnt down in the fire.
Al Medina Cosmetics owner Nazim Uddin told New Age that fire gutted many shops while miscreants looted valuable item from a number of shops during and after the fire.
The market, established by the Muktijudha Kalyan Trust (Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust) under the Ministry of Freedom Fighters Welfare, has some 1,700 shops mostly selling saris, shoes, dress designing materials and cosmetics, among others.
There were many illegal shops in the market too, said shop owners.
Witnesses said the smoke was first noticed on the east side of the two-storey tin-shed market at about 5:15pm.
Narayan Chandra, who owns a shop on the ground floor, said he saw the fire erupting from a mattress shop when he went to the first floor to go to the washroom.
Bablu, owner of a shop on the first floor, said welding works were underway at the mattress shop that was one of the shops where the fire was primarily noticed.
Police restricted road communications around the spot to ease the firefighting works.
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