Fire broke out in Kolkata’s Bagri Market on Canning Street in the early hours of Sunday. At least 30 fire engines have been deployed to douse the blaze and no casualties have been reported.
Firefighting personnel are finding it difficult to contain the fire as the area is very congested, an unidentified official told PTI. “We are using hydraulic ladder and gas cutters to cut through the grills of the gates and small windows to enter the building,” the official added.
The blaze started at the ground floor of a five-storied building and spread quickly because of a huge stock of inflammable articles, reported NDTV. The building has around 400 shops.
“The ladder was of not any use due to the mesh of [overhead power] cables,” an unidentified firefighter told the Hindustan Times. “We are directing jets from the adjacent building. We are now trying to enter the building.” Till 8:30 am, firefighters had only managed to enter till the first floor.
“We are trying our best but firefighting operation is tough here because of the number of buildings,” Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee told ANI. The mayor said the premises were “extremely congested” and that even the pavements were used to store items, impeding the movement of firefighters, reported Hindustan Times. “The network of overhead cables also prevented the ladders from the used properly,” Chatterjee said.
Traffic restrictions were imposed in the area following the fire.