Shimla: A devastating fire broke out at Theog market, gutting at least 10 residential houses and eight shops, early this morning (Wednesday). No loss of life has been reported.
Vehicular traffic on the Hindustan-Tibet Highway-22 remained suspended for four hours as fire debris from the buildings came down on the road. A large number of vehicles were stranded on the road for hours before the debris were finally removed in the afternoon. About 18 families have been rendered homeless including two officials of PWD department who were residing in the ill-fated buildings. The fire was so extensive that people could hear blasts in LPG cylinders many miles away from the spot; as a result hundreds of people thronged the place.
Fire officer Mahinder Singh Sonkhala told HimVani over phone that the fire broke out at 3.30 am and five fire tendered were pressed into operation and the inferno was controlled after about two-and-half hours. The wooden structure of the buildings further aggravated the fire and rescue personnel had to work hard to douse down the flames.
The reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained. The gutted properties include two four-storey buildings containing eight shops and 10 residential houses.