A fire broke out inside a showroom in Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market on Saturday morning, which spread rapidly and gutted three buildings across six blocks. Fire officials and police said no casualties have been reported so far and the damage is being assessed.
Officials said they received a call from I-block around 10.20 am, following which 30 fire tenders with more than 100 firemen, as well as several ambulances, were rushed to the spot. The firemen sprayed water inside the shops from elevated trolleys. Post 2.30 pm, more than five tenders were involved in the cooling process.
Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg said, “We received a call about the incident around 10.20 am and sent 16 fire tenders to the spot. The fire started at a clothes showroom and soon spread to other floors of the three-storey building. There was a lot of smoke because of the raw material inside the shop. The fire spread to other areas and had to be controlled in time. We sent another 14 tenders to douse the blaze. It was controlled around 1.30 pm and cooling operations are on. Nobody was injured during the incident. Our teams are checking the premises.”
DCP (Southeast) RP Meena said: “At 10.32 am, information was received regarding a fire opposite KFC, Central Market, Lajpat Nagar. Immediately maximum staff of Lajpat Nagar police station, along with ATO and area SHO, rushed to I Block. The fire had broken out in building I-19, 20, which mainly has garment showrooms. Fire brigade staff was informed immediately and 15 water cannons of Delhi Fire Service reached the spot. BSES and IGL were informed to cut electricity and gas supply.”
Since most shops sold garments, the blaze quickly spread towards adjacent plots. Smoke billowing from the buildings could be seen from at least 200 metres away. With the temperatures exceeding 36 degrees, DFS personnel said firefighting operations were particularly difficult.
A barricade was placed in the middle of the Central Market, nearly 50 metres from the burnt shops. While other shops in the market resumed operations later in the day and saw a few customers trickling in, shops within 10 metres of the fire spot were not allowed to open.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he was monitoring the situation. “Fire trucks have reached the spot, rescue and relief operations are underway. I am continuously monitoring the situation and am in touch with Delhi Fire Department officials,” he tweeted.