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TURA: As many as 68 shops and godowns along with three dozen shanty homes were destroyed in a major fire that broke out from a closed shop at Rongjeng market on Saturday morning, it’s weekly market day.
Police say that the incident took place at around 11:20 in the morning when the market was brimming with customers and traders who had come from far places for the weekly trade in this East Garo Hills town.
Eyewitness accounts of the inferno told police that the fire originated from a bakery shop that had been closed for the past couple of days.
A electrical short circuit causing the blaze is not being ruled out though there are other reports which claim charcoal left unattended inside the shop may have added to the blaze gaining strength.
District authorities informed that forty shops dealing in dry fish, vegetables, groceries, garments and fish and meat stalls were totally destroyed in the fire while another 28 godowns that stored various items from food to other commodities were reduced to rubble.
“Besides the fire brigade at Rongjeng station, we pressed into service our fire and emergency services units from Williamnagar, Nangalbibra and Mendipathar. It took close to three and a half hours to completely douse the fire,” informed district police chief R T G Momin.
Shops and godowns were not the only casualties in the blaze. As many as 36 number of shanty houses located in the market were also destroyed in the incident.
The total value of loss from the fire is said to be several lakh rupees and district administration has reportedly assured of compensation to the victims under the natural disaster and calamity rates.