24 hours on, godowns still blazing in Chandni Chowk

Thursday

At least 50 fire-tenders and a team of over 100 firemen were working round the clock to douse the flames till late Friday evening after a massive fire broke out in the Bhagirath Palace electrical goods market in Chandni Chowk the previous night.

Fire officials said they have yet to douse the burning wires, PVC material and chemical substances inside the godowns. Preventive measures have been taken to stop the fire from spreading to other godowns and shops in the vicinity.

Residents of the area said a lot of chemicals were stocked on the third floor of building Number 1809, which may have reacted and triggered the fire.

Ramakant Jain, one of the residents, said: "The godowns in building Number 1809 had chemicals used for making plastic boards. We heard some noise in the evening. The explosions were probably from a chemical reaction. The place is cordoned off and firemen are trying to douse the fire."

Firefighters were struggling because of the lack of space in the market. Moreover, the staircase and floors of the building Number 1810 have collapsed because of the intense heat from the fire.

The city's fire chief A K Sharma said: "Our men managed to douse the fire in one building, but could not get into the other buildings. Since most of the buildings are old, these had developed cracks. The staircase has collapsed and there are material burning under the debris. Our personnel are spraying water to extinguish the burning debris."

"There's smoke billowing from the burning material under the debris. It is a small fire. Water will cool down the debris and we can move in to douse the fire," he said.

Sharma refused to say what triggered the fire.

On Friday night, DCP (North) Sindhu Pillai said the operation would take another couple of hours.

... contd.

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