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Chandni Chowk, Delhi: Massive Fire Destroys Over 50 Shops

In a challenging overnight operation amidst sweltering conditions, firefighters battled a massive blaze that ravaged more than 50 shops in the densely-packed buildings of Chandni Chowk in north Delhi.

Even as dawn broke on Friday, remnants of flames persisted under collapsed sections of structures, prompting ongoing efforts to cool down the area, as per officials. The fire erupted in the Old Katra Marwadi Market area of Chandni Chowk around 5 pm on Thursday, fortunately resulting in no casualties.

Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg reported that the fire was finally brought under control by 4:30 am.

“Eight fire tenders are currently engaged in the cooling operation. Throughout the night, more than 50 fire tenders and 200 personnel tirelessly worked to contain the inferno,” Garg stated.

The conflagration gutted both small and large shops, with two buildings, including the source of the fire, collapsing under its fury. Garg noted that residual fires continue to smolder within combustible materials beneath the debris. The affected shops primarily dealt in items like sarees and dupattas.

Following the completion of the cooling operation, forensic and electricity departments will conduct inspections, stated Deputy Commissioner of Police M K Meena, confirming that an FIR is being filed regarding the incident.

Preliminary investigations suggest the fire originated from a short circuit in an air conditioner on the second floor of one of the buildings in Chandni Chowk, swiftly engulfing adjacent shops. The interconnected nature of shops in the narrow lanes of the old Katra Marwadi Market posed significant challenges for firefighters, according to officials.

Deepal Mahendru, president of the Nai Sadak Traders Welfare Association, Chandni Chowk, expressed concerns that the tally of damaged shops might rise to 100. He highlighted the apprehension among traders to assess their losses due to the intense heat.

“Once the cooling operation and inspections conclude, we will be able to evaluate the extent of damages, which are anticipated to be substantial,” Mahendru concluded.

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