Fire in Pedong Haat Bazaar in kalimpong

Fire in Pedong Haat Bazaar in kalimpong
A huge fire broke out on Tuesday night at the Haat Bazaar area of Pedong, 23km from Kalimpong town, completely burning down 17 houses including shops in total. Another four houses were partially damaged but there were no reports of human casualties.
No official statement of the cause for the fire has been released yet, but some residents said the blaze could have started from a sweetmeat shop. “The fire could have started from the sweetmeat shop and spread quickly to nearby structures,” said Sunil Agarwal, who lost all four of his shops to the inferno. He ran two cloth shops, an electronic item store and a shoe shop.
Pedong residents have started demanding a fire service station in the area to avoid a recurrence of such incidents in future. “If there had been a fire station in Pedong, the damage would not have been so extensive. Last night we got no chance at all to douse the flames. We have been demanding for a fire station here since long and after last night’s fire, we will push forward the demand with all our energy,” said Basant Kanu, whose house is located right next to the accident spot.
The closet fire station is 23km away in Kalimpong town. Six fire trucks from Kalimpong, Lambazaar and Ramphu were pressed into service and they managed to douse the flames only after three grueling hours. “The fire started sometime after midnight,” said Kalimpong fire station in-charge Sukhraj Subba. “We received the information at 12.20pm and rushed to spot. We managed to bring the flames under control at 3.30am on Wednesday morning.” Locals and Army personnel also helped the fire brigade personnel, he added.
Kalimpong sub-divisional officer Radhika Aiyar said 17 houses were completely destroyed and four partially damaged, but there was no loss of life. “Following a survey, we found 17 houses including some shops completely destroyed. We will first assess the extent of the loss and send a report to the state government for permanent rehabilitation of the victims. For the time being, we have provided relief materials to the victims,” she said.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders rushed to the spot and met the victims and arranged for their temporary rehabilitation. “The fire was devastating and destroyed several houses and shops. As per information received, the damage is to the tune of Rs7 crore. We have arranged temporary accommodation for the victims at the Pedong Community Hall and provided them with food grains and other necessary relief materials,” said Dawa Lepcha, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration sabhasad of the area.
GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung, who is currently in Nepal, extended his sympathies to the victims via email. He assured them of every possible support and promised to visit Pedong on Thursday. (EOIC)

huge fire broke out on Tuesday night at the Haat Bazaar area of Pedong, 23km from Kalimpong town, completely burning down 17 houses including shops

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