More than 24 hours after a major fire broke out in a multi-storey building housing godowns and shops stuffed with electronic goods at Bhagirath Palace in Chandni Chowk here, the cooling operation continued throughout the day on Friday even as fire spread to a couple of shops in the adjoining building as well.

“The fire spread to some shops in the adjoining building on Friday morning, but it was not major. Perhaps the two buildings are connected and the heat generated due to the high intensity flames led to the fire in the shops in the neighbouring building. The main fire was doused on Thursday, but cooling operation is under way and may continue for another 24 hours or more as the shops are stuffed with highly inflammable electronic goods stored in huge quantities. The fire keeps igniting in the heaps of electrical wires and pipes due to the heat generated by the smouldering material, but it is not a matter of great concern,” said Delhi Fire Chief A.K. Sharma.

The fire had started at a godown storing electrical appliances on the second floor of the four-storey building on Thursday around 5-30 p.m. and soon spread to shops and godowns on the same floor and the upper floor. It took more than two hours for 22 fire tenders to douse the flames. No one was injured in the incident.

The cooling operation is, however, prolonged due to the congested surroundings and dilapidated condition of the buildings. “The two buildings in which the fire has taken place are in dilapidated condition and developed cracks causing fear of their imminent collapse. As no one is trapped inside, we are not taking undue risk and carrying out the entire operation from a distance as going inside the building could be dangerous. Further, the congested surroundings and heavy traffic have also slowed down the pace of the operation,” said Mr. Sharma.

For their part, the police said that the investigation into the incident would be initiated after the cooling operation is over.

“It is not possible for the police team to venture inside the buildings at present. We are waiting for the cooling operation to be over to initiate investigation. We will decide upon registration of case only after the cause of fire is established,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sindhu Pillai.

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