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Fire tenders reached spot late, claim shopkeepers at furniture market

twitter-logoPTI | June 21, 2019 | Updated 20:43 IST

New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) Shopkeepers, whose units were gutted in a major blaze at a furniture market here on Friday, have claimed that the fire tenders reached the spot late in south Delhi's Kalindi Kunj area by which time the fire had spread extensively. However, the Delhi Fire Service has rejected all the claims saying the fire tenders were rushed to the spot as soon as it got the information about the incident. The furniture market is spread over 2,000 square yards and the fire had spread rapidly as a large amount of wood and plastic material was stored in the area. Several furniture shops were gutted in the fire, a senior fire official said, adding that no one was injured as the fire broke out early morning and the shops were closed. "The fire broke out at around 5 am on Friday and immediately the Fire Department was informed. They sent two fire tenders at around 6.30 am in which one was empty," Mohammad Sarfaraz (31), owner of one of the shops, claimed. However, Vipin Kental, director of the Delhi Fire Service, said "We received the information at 5.25 am and immediately, the fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the blaze". "The fire took place early in the morning when the workers were sleeping near the shops. They informed us about the incident, following which we reached the market," Sarfaraz said. "It's a 17-year-old market. The owners never lock their shops and in the night, around 20-25 workers sleep near the market," he said. Sarfaraz, a resident of Faridabad, said his father Mohammad Islam (57) had set-up the shop around 17 years ago and since then, he had been working with him. "The shop was our only source of income and we have not insured it. The material worth Rs one crore, in all the shops was damaged in the fire," he added. Mohammad Danish (34), another shopkeeper, said, "Police helped us to take some material out of the blaze as fire tenders reached late. Around 12-13 shops were gutted in the fire." A senior fire official said that two metro pillars and a banquet hall near the market were partially damaged in the fire. Soon after the fire incident was reported, movement of trains were stopped temporarily between Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh and Kalindi Kunj metro stations due to smoke and fire from underneath the aqueduct, a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official said. PTI NIT SNE

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