Many Houses Damaged In Chattabal Fire

SRINAGAR — Many houses were damaged after fire erupted at a residential locality in Chattabal area of the city on Friday morning

As per officials at least half a dozen residential houses were damaged in the fire incident causing a heavy loss to property in the Srinagar locality. After flames erupted at a house, local residents tried to douse the fire and later alerted the officials of Fire and Emergency Services who pressed into service their staff to contain the damage.

But the fire had already left the houses damaged before it was brought under control to prevent it from spreading to other areas. Local residents said that the fire broke out in a house and soon engulfed the” others in flames and after the fire tenders were rushed to the scene and the blaze was put out after nearly an hour.”

An official said that at least six houses were damaged in the fire. The officials said that the  magnitude of the losses was heavy and the government was assessing the damage.  “We are still assessing the damage and the cause of the fire,” said an official.

Earlier the Fire and Emergency Services department had issued an advisory asking people to exhibit “caution in using heating appliances during the coming months of winter.” The people were urged to be careful also in disposing of smoking causing materials. The mishandling of heating gadgets had caused fires leaving people homeless.

The authorities said that it was important for “people to ensure that heating equipments were working properly as a survey has shown that fires are caused due to lack of precaution during cooking and use of heating equipment.”   “Extremely dry conditions increase the risk for fires to ignite, while windy weather increases the chance and speed for any fire to spread. We have asked everyone to remain vigilant. Agriculture produce is vulnerable to fire, so people particularly in the rural areas must bear caution in this regard,” said a top official of the fire and emergency service department.

NC Seeks Compensation For Fire-Hit

The National Conference on Friday sought compensation from the government for the damage caused to the properties due to the fire at Chattabal.

NC central secretary and ex-MLA Batamaloo, Irfan Shah, said, “The incumbent administration should take immediate steps to ensure that the affected families do not face any hardship in the coming winter days. Necessary arrangements should be put in place for them until new structures come up.”

He urged upon the administration to compensate the families at an earliest. “The massive fire incident at Chattabal Srinagar has deprived the affected of all they had got. Need of the hour is to compensate the material loss adequately, so that the distressed families don’t suffer,” he said.

Irfan said that the thickly “inhabited areas of Srinagar are prone to such fire incidents and what worsens the situation is the very thin presence of Fire Service staff in many areas. “Government should rise up to the occasion and upgrade the fire services department to meet the demand of fire extinguishers in the city interiors and everywhere else.”

Altaf Expresses Sympathy With Fire Affected

Senior PDP leader and former finance minister Syed Altaf Bukhari has expressed deep “shock and grief over the tragic fire incident” in which over half a dozen residential houses were gutted in Chattabal area in Srinagar city.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari expressed sympathy with the fire affected families and urged the Governor’s administration to provide immediate help and financial support to all those affected by devastating blaze.

The former finance minister also urged the district administration to ensure distribution of adequate ex-gratia compensation to the victims of this tragedy till a formal damage assessment is made by the revenue officials.

Expressing deep anguish, Bukhari appealed inhabitants of the locality to safeguard their lives and property by taking precautionary measures to avert such incidents in future.

 “We should take precautions and prevent short circuits in our homes, shops and business establishments because most often these short circuits have proven disastrous in terms of life and property,” he said.

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