500 shops gutted as fire ravages commercial towers in Kanpur

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KANPUR: At least 500 shops were gutted in a massive fire that broke out in a multi-storey commercial building and quickly spread to adjacent towers in Bansmandi area here early on Friday, a senior official said.

Prime facie, the fire broke out due to short-circuit following a massive dust storm.

The blaze started at 2 am in AR Tower also known as Afaq Rasool Tower and spread to Maqsood, Humraz complex and Nafees towers charring about 500 shops located in these four towers, the official said, adding strong winds fanned the flames.

According to the senior official, goods and cash worth about Rs 100 crore were gutted.

Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Anand Prakash Tiwari told PTI that several fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire which is yet to be doused.

Fire-fighters have been battling for hours to douse the blaze, the JCP added.

An SOS call has been made to all neighbouring districts, including Kanpur Dehat, Unnao, Lucknow and Kannauj, to dispatch fire tenders to assist in the operation, he said, adding firemen had successfully prevented the fire from spreading further.

The shops in all four towers have been gutted and goods worth crores completely destroyed, the JCP said.

“The building didn’t adhere to fire safety norms,” another official said.