Four shops were gutted and goods worth crores destroyed in a major fire in the congested Chandni Chowk area of Central Delhi on Friday afternoon. However, no causalities were reported in the incident.

According to the Delhi Fire Services, the incident took place at around 1 p.m. “A call regarding break out of fire was received at the control room at 1-13 p.m. on Friday. The caller informed that major fire has broken out at Shop no-398, Naya Katra Road in Chandni Chowk,” said an official of the Delhi Fire Services.

Twenty-two fire tenders were sent to the spot to douse the fire. It took about an hour for the fire officials to douse the fire, the official added.

No casualty was reported as all the nearby shops were evacuated as soon as the fire broke out. The fire that spread from the shop later spread on to two-three neighbouring shops. The reason behind the fire breakout is not known so far, said a police official.

Chandni Chowk has always been prone to fire incidents. Fire officials attribute it to the lack of proper fire safety measures in the area. Talking on the issue, a fire official said: “Chandni Chowk market has always been prone to fire. The biggest reason is that electrical wires are hanging outside the shops and this leads to short-circuit often. It then becomes difficult to control the fire due to congested by-lanes.”

Another reason is the presence of old buildings in the area which don’t have proper safety measures to tackle fire situations, added the officer.

In December 2012, a major fire broke out in a multi-storey building housing godowns and shops stuffed with highly inflammable electronic material in Bhagirath Palace. In the month of August this year, a 100-year-old dilapidated building, opposite Gauri Shankar temple in Chandni Chowk area had collapsed triggering fire.

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