Fire breaks out in Crawford Market, no casualties

Six fire engines reach in quick time; fire confined to four shops

Published - June 12, 2020 01:04 am IST - Mumbai

Up in flames: People watch smoke billowing at Crawford Market after a fire broke out on Thursday.

Up in flames: People watch smoke billowing at Crawford Market after a fire broke out on Thursday.

A massive fire broke out in a few shops at Crawford Market in Mumbai on Thursday evening but there were no casualties, with business in the otherwise bustling market being down due to the pandemic.

According to Fire Brigade officials, the control room received a call about the blaze in the British-era market at 6.15 p.m. The first firefighters reached the spot within three minutes of being alerted, and the incident was declared a level-II emergency at 6.36 p.m.

Smoke was visible from as far as Nariman Point and Churchgate, sparking speculation about the extent and location of the fire. The MRA Marg police sent several teams to assist the fire brigade with crowd control.

Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said the fire was confined to four shops in the market, and damaged boxes, packaging material and electrical installations inside. The cause of the fire is still being ascertained.

“Quick response by the fire brigade prevented what could have caused major damage to the market. Six fire engines took one-and-a-half hours to douse the fire,” Mr. Rahangdale said.

The fire was declared under control at 8.48 p.m. and five firefighting jets were pressed into service for cooling operations. No injuries or fatalities were reported, officials said.

“The fact that the area is predominantly commercial helped contain the situation quickly. Personnel from the Mumbai Police commissionerate compound, which is across the street from the market, were on standby, while those posted at the junction were among the first respondents,” a senior police officer said.

The officer added that the situation might have been harder to deal with had the city been operating at full capacity, especially with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station being a five-minute walk away. Not just the market, but the roads leading to the station too are chock full with motorists and pedestrians.

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