As Kashmir residents continue to battle bone-chilling cold as temperatures keep plummeting, two fire incidents in Srinagar’s Old City areas have devastated several families.
A major fire gutted at least six houses in Sakidafar area of the city on Sunday night, officials of the fire department said. Two firefighters were also injured while dousing the flames.
The injured fighters were referred to nearby SHMS hospital for treatment. One among the injured firefighters who fell from a building when dousing the fire was later rushed to the Bones and Joints Hospital in Srinagar’s Barzulla. One of the firefighters was discharged from the SMHS hospital after receiving treatment.
Firefighting operation faced a tough challenge as the blaze erupted in a very congested part of the area as firefighters faced difficulty to move the water cannons through the narrow alleys.
There are more than 20 adjoining houses which were under risk of catching fire but the quick action of Fire and Emergency Services of Kashmir (FE&S) rescued and doused the fire from spreading to adjacent houses.
This is the second fire incident in the congested Old City in the past three days.
On January 15, this year, two residential houses were gutted in an inferno in Namchebal area of Fateh Kadal. The fire had started from the three-storied house of Hilal Ahmad Dar at around 8.00pm and had spread to a neighbouring house. Three families living in the two houses were rendered homeless and have been shifted to a property belonging to the local mosque. The local committee of Namchebal has appealed for donation to the tree families to help them to resume their lives.
In winters, Kashmiris use a traditional firepot called ‘Kangri’ for heating and bearing the cold and in many cases of fires it is found that the careless use of the firepot provided a spark for the blaze.
Kashmiris spend their most of the time cozied in indoors during winter and fires in the winter season are very frequent. As most localities in Kashmir are congested and have old wood structures the damage to property in such fires is mostly widespread.
Fire fighters play a vital role in risking their life’s to save and rescue the property and dousing the flames in the congested parts of the valley.