Kolkata: A massive fire broke out on Wednesday (January 13) at a colony in Baghbazar area in the northern parts of the city.
According to sources, as many as 25 fire tenders were present at the spot. No casualties have been reported thus far.
The office room of the ancestral residence of Saradamani Mukhopadhyay (reverentially addressed in West Bengal as the 'Holy Mother' Sarada Devi/ "Ma Sarada") has been completely burnt, while a neighbouring multi-storeyed building has caught fire.
The Free Press Journal reached the spot and managed to get first-hand visuals of the massive fire.
However, the local people have alleged that the water engines arrived late. By the time the emergency services arrived, all the houses in the nearby Hajar Basti slum had been burnt, locals have claimed.
The slum is located on Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue, beside the Bagbazar Women's College.
The locals agitated on the spot in front of the police and the media for not receiving help on time. An ensuing mob, resulting from the agitation, also reportedly beat up several camerapersons and broken their recording devices.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) was present at the spot, attempting to bring the situation under control.
Later, Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim reached the spot, only to face the brunt of the protests of the locals, who gheraoed his car and demanded help from the state government
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that cylinders nearby are exploding and damaging the buildings in the neighbourhood, thus exacerbating the fire in the subsequent explosions.
Police sources have said that so far, information regarding as many as ten cylinders bursting in the vicinity has been received.
The locals have blamed the promoters, who allegedly did not abide by any relevant rules and left cable wires open. According to local sources, the fire was caused by open wires, however, the police have not confirmed any such details.
A section of the locals also blamed the TMC for supporting illegal activities of the promoters.
According to the emergency services personnel, the fire has been brought under control, but chances of hidden debris cannot be ruled out.