Belthangady: A fire broke out in two shops in front of Anugraha School under Ujire Gram Panchayat limits, causing a loss of Rs. 1 Crore. The incident took place on the afternoon of Wednesday August 31.
These shops located near the National Highway, which were closed on Wednesday on account of Ganesha Chaturthi when a fire broke out from inside the shops in the afternoon and spread suddenly. This resulted in a loss of Rs. 40 lakh to a tyre shop owned by One Rajeev. From there, Nagesh Bhat’s Raksha Agro Kendra, the fire moved to a hardware shop. The fire that broke out in a paint shop, caused Rs. 70 lakh in cash, including material, computers, buildings and other assets. The entire material, including the documents of the two shops, was gutted in the fire.
Thousands of people had gathered at the time of the fire and there was a traffic jam. Vehicular traffic on the highway was stopped for some time to bring the fire under control.
Belthangady Fire Personnel, Belthangady Police, Traffic Police, Dharmasthala Police and locals rushed to the spot and asssisted. The operation lasted for more than four hours. By 7.00 pm it rained heavily and helped in dousing the fire completely.
As a result of the fire, smoke and the burning smell of tyre paint, pipes, etc spread over a distance of several kilometres up to villages like Ujire, Kalmanja, Mundaje, Baraikanyadi, etc.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, there was heavy thunderstorm and it is suspected that the lightning may have hit some electrical equipment and caused the fire. No one noticed the fire till it spread completely as the shops were closed. The fire also caused minor damage to a hotel operating close to these shops. If the fire had spread to the hotel, there could have been more damage. The fire spread from inside the shops with iron shutters and the shutters were cleared through a JCB. In the meantime, all the property had been damaged. The iron ladder and pipes in the shop were also damaged by the fire. Several vehicles were also damaged.