Major fire at British era building in Shimla


A major fire broke out at the British Raj day historic Gorton castle building Shimla, early today.

The building houses the present Audit and Accountant General office of Himachal Pradesh.

Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Dinesh Malhotra said that fire tenders of civil and Army partly succeed to douse down the inferno that broke out at 0400 hours. But they could not succeed immediately due to the massive size of the building. The fire broke out at the top and spread shortly.

According to sources, most of the records of AG and CAG were reportedly destroyed in the devastating fire. The records pertain to the vital information about the state of affairs in this hill state.

Further details said that it was brought under control at 1000 hours. One military jawan injured in the operation who was rushed to hospital in an ambulance reported out of danger.

Out of total 125 rooms of three floor building, as many as 60 rooms and two floor gutted down by the flames before it was brought under control. Most of the records belonging to reportedly Pension and GPF funds of government officials gutted in the fire.

All other records kept inside the building were evacuated from the first and second floor which was kept under security zone outside under the supervision of District Magistrate.

The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. Smoke was still coming out from the devastated 110 years of building while its walls were still in the air but entire wooden and roof top was gutted in the fire on the top two floors.

The illegal parking of private vehicles stalled the fire combat as fire tenders could not move to backyard of building immediately despite having access.

The chambers of Audit and accountant Generals also came under the flames who was forced to remain on pavement outside the building along with all employees on duty today.

However, fire call centre sources said the fire had possibly broken out last midnight but was not informed by the AG office staff. A call from the taxi stand at 0335 hours at fire control room alerted the entire administration.

Eight fire tenders have been pressed into service as fire engine were also called from Solan and Theog to participate in this combat operation.

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