As many as 22 shops were gutted in a midnight blaze at Lawoosa area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
The shops in the shopping complex within the Army brigade got damaged in the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday, officials said.
The shop owners said that the fire broke out at around 11:00 PM and engulfed the whole shopping complex, damaging at least 22 shops belonging to civilians including the non-locals at Lawoosa in Nowgam.
Manzoor Ahmad, one of the owners running a shop said that the fire broke out at around 11:00 PM, adding that nobody among them was allowed to enter the premises and even this time all are waiting outside to be allowed to visit the spot and verify.
“Whatever the stock accumulation was done in recent days, has turned into ashes and nothing belonging to the owners could be saved,” he said.
Manzoor said that ATM, Post office and engineering store belonging to the Army brigade also gutted in the fire incident but as of now none among them were allowed to enter within the Army unit.
He also said that as of now, “we are not being informed about the actual cause of the fire.”
Zahoor Ahmad, another affected shopkeeper said that all the shops are shut at 08:00 PM regularly but the fire has broke out at 11:00 PM, engulfing the entire shopping mall.
Nearly three buildings have gutted in the fire incident including the residential place given to the shopkeepers and the cause of the fire isn’t known yet, he said.
Meanwhile, a concerned police official said that a police party has been rushed to the spot and details related to the incident are being gathered and will be shared later accordingly—(KNO)