A major fire destroyed nearly 50 new cars which were kept in a yard for distribution to customers here on Sunday.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but it is suspected to have broken out around 2.30 p.m. In a matter of minutes the entire yard — located near the J.K. Tyres Radial Plant in Hebbal Industrial Area, Metagalli, — was engulfed in the conflagration.

The presence of dry grass facilitated the spread of the fire, and nearly 50 models of Tata Motors-manufactured cars such as Indica and Indigo, as well as Fiat Linea were reduced to cinders.

The proprietor of the car dealership, Kantharaja Urs, told presspersons that he received a call around 2.30 p.m. about the fire and rushed to the yard.

Though the extent of the loss was not clear, it is estimated to be around Rs. 2.5 crore. Three fire engines were pressed into service and they struggled for nearly an hour to douse the flames.

The yard had around 120 vehicles of various brands lined up. What prevented the fire from engulfing all vehicles was a huge gap between the row of vehicles that was in flames and the remaining, that were placed much higher.

The Metagalli police have registered a case.

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