In a major fire accident at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam's (TTD) mini-shopping complex lying adjacent to the Sri Bedi Anjaneyaswamy temple in front of the main temple, eight shops were gutted and four partially damaged on Monday.
Eye witnesses said that the fire broke out in one of the shops displaying a large collection of electrical photo frames on the first floor of the building complex and spread to the shops on either side in no time. The entire building was engulfed in thick cloud of smoke forcing devotees, who were shopping, to run helter-skelter.
Panic stricken shop-keepers tried their best to control the fire using fire extinguishers available in the shops besides alerting the fire tenders which rushed to the spot.
The blaze was brought under control after fire personnel fought for over 30 minutes. Initial estimates revealed that goods worth Rs. 30 lakh were destroyed in the fire accident. TTD CVSO M.K. Singh and the Tirumala ASP Uma Maheswar Sharma rushed to the spot for making first-hand assessment of the accident. The mishap is believed to have been caused by electrical short circuit.
The Devastham had allotted the shops to rehabilitate families which had lost their properties in Tirumala following land acquisition.