Eight shops were gutted in a major fire that broke out near the Second Railway Gate in Kozhikode at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

Eye witnesses said that the fire started from a kitchen of a hotel and spread to neighbouring shops including a hardware store selling paints. This resulted in fire engulfing more shops in the vicinity.

However no casualty was reported.

Security guards alerted the hotel employees sleeping inside about the fire. The personnel attached to the Department of Fire and Rescue Services doused the flames from creating more damage.  A fire unit

from Malappuram district was called to extinguish the fire in a two-hour operation. However a heavy downpour lessened the task for the fire brigade.

The loss to property has not been estimated. The exact cause of the fire is also unknown. However preliminary examination revealed that short circuit could have triggered the fire. Most shops in the city

fail to adhere to safety norms stipulated by the various government departments.

More In: Kerala | National