Delhi: Chandni Chowk market fire still burning after a day
About 150 shops have been gutted and five large buildings were damaged in the massive fire at Mahalaxmi Market in Bhagirath Palace in New Delhi's Chandni Chowk. The blaze broke out at around 9:00 pm on Thursday night and seemed to have been brought under control by the firefighters by Friday morning. However, a new fire erupted in some shops and started spreading.
Fire department's response to the fire outbreak
According to a fire department official, around 20 fire tenders were extinguishing the fire on Friday night. However, upon assessing the situation, officials reportedly engaged 40 fire tenders in the operation. On Saturday morning, too, fire tenders kept working to put out the fire. Officials said the blaze started inside a shop in Mahalaxmi Market and spread to the adjacent electrical appliances shops.
3 buildings collapsed due to the fire
Sagar Singh Kalsi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Delhi), stated soon after receiving information regarding the fire, the fire department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and reserve police force teams rushed to the spot. Officials said three of the five large damaged buildings collapsed in the fire, but no injuries or loss of life has been reported so far.
More than 24 hours since the fire broke out
A senior police officer confirmed that firefighters were still working to extinguish the flames. "The fire was brought under control on Friday morning and the cooling process was underway but by evening, it reignited and became massive once again. It has been nearly 24 hours since the fire broke out and firefighters are still struggling to douse the flames," an officer told PTI.
Traders blame authorities for the fire
Traders blamed poor infrastructure, narrow lanes, tangles of electrical wires, inflammable material, and lack of fire warning systems for the fire and the fire department's delayed arrival at the spot for the spread. Alleging the fire erupted due to a short circuit, the traders blamed the authorities for not taking proper steps to rectify the infrastructural issues, which cause fires in the area frequently.
Delhi CM reacts to Chandni Chowk fire
Reacting to the fire incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed his grief in a tweet. "This incident of fire in Bhagirath Palace market of Chandni Chowk late last night is very sad. Since last night, the fire brigade personnel are working hard to douse the flames. I am taking information about this from district administration," he tweeted in Hindi.
Here's what CM Kejriwal tweeted
कल देर रात चाँदनी चौक के भागीरथ पैलेस मार्केट में आग की ये घटना बेहद दुखद है। कल रात से ही दमकल कर्मी पूरी मेहनत से आग बुझाने के काम में लगे हुए हैं। ज़िला प्रशासन से मैं लगातार इसकी जानकारी ले रहा हूँ। https://t.co/C6kYmwkAdT— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 25, 2022
40 fire-related calls from Chandni Chowk till November 23
As per the official statistics shared by the fire department, the Delhi Fire Service attended nearly 40 fire-related calls this year from the Chandni Chowk area alone till November 23. It was only back in September this year that a huge fire broke out at a three-story commercial building's top floor and reportedly destroyed 80 shops.