A fire like never before


LAHORE – “We have never seen such a huge fire in our whole lives and it seemed like doomsday,” Shah Alam Market traders on Monday. Plazas which caught fire had highly inflammable items stored in them, which helped the fire spread. Traders said that they did not open shops and were worried about their valuables, as the fire was highly-inflammable.
They said that no one had ever thought that such a horrible incident would take place in the area adding that previous fire incidents were controlled. But the fire on Monday was huge and destroyed everything in its way. Traders said that the damage could have been controlled if timely action would have been taken but the fire brigade squad could not control the fire due to non-availability of equipment and technical assistance.
According to traders, around 250 to 300 shops were reduced to ashes due to the fire and according to some reports, short-circuit could have caused the fire. According to reports, around four plazas were completely destroyed while neighbouring shops were damaged. “There are around 80 shops in each plazas and almost every shop was destroyed,” said trader Umar Siddique.
He said that businessmen selling various products were running shops located in the area. “There were plastic, electronics, toys, perfumes, clothes, electrical and wood shops,” a trader said adding that all shops had highly-inflammable material, which provided fuel to fire. Another trader Rana Faisal, who runs a perfume shop, said that huge blasts occurred after the fire erupted.
“There were blasts of fire crackers as soon the plazas caught fire,” Faisal said adding that fire works were placed in the plazas, which caused huge blasts. “I did not open my shop but during the whole day I was worried about my shop, as the fire was getting out of control,” he added. Electronics trader Farooq Ahmed said that he has never seen such a huge fire in his life. “I am doing business for the last 20 years and there have been fire incidents but I have not seen such a horrible fire,” he said adding that it seemed that the fire would never be controlled and it would finish everything.
“It was like doomsday, as everyone was running to save their lives and was not bothered about goods or shops,” he added.