The Bagree Market fire, that broke out on Sunday morning, continued to blaze on Monday with firefighters claiming it could several more hours to control it. At least 35 fire tenders and over 250 firefighters have been pressed into service.
“We've reached from ground to top floor & have succeeded in containing fire but due to presence of chemical there, it's difficult to contain pockets of fire inside. Now 35 fire tenders & 250 firemen are here and operation is going on continuously,” said the Deputy Fire Director, Kolkata.
The blaze has now spread to other parts of the market in the congested Canning Street. The fire, which was brought a little under control, erupted again on the fourth floor on Monday morning.
"Almost the entire building has been engulfed in the fire, because a huge amount of inflammable materials stored inside the shops helped spreading it.
"Most of the shops are closed with shutters locked due to which we are facing a tough time to reach crucial points. Despite the problems, we are fighting to the best of our abilities to douse the fire," a fire department official said.
Firefighters were seen trying to control the blaze by spraying water on the building from six directions. Water was also sprayed in the nearby buildings to stop the fire from spreading.
The department faced difficulties with the scarcity of water in the area as water was supplied from a water body in nearby Laldighi and Hooghly river in Mallickghat.
"Water scarcity is a problem here. If there was a water supply from this area we could have fought the fire in a much better manner. Supplying water has been a problem as it is brought from nearby supplies," another official of the fire department present at the site told PTI.
The fire which broke out around 2.30 am Sunday gutted at least 1,000 business establishments inside the G+5 market causing huge losses to traders ahead of the Durga puja festival.
No loss of life has been reported but six persons, including two fire fighters, fell sick after inhaling the toxic smoke, the police said.
The sick persons were treated at the Calcutta Medical College Hospital and later discharged.