Girl charred to death; houseboat, residential house gutted in fire

Damage caused by fire in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Damage caused by fire in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, May 27: A 9-year girl was charred to death while a houseboat, as well as a residential house, was gutted during overnight fire incidents that raged in the Dal Lake interiors and Nigeen area.
Officials told Excelsior that one fire incident was reported at the backside of the Nehru Park on the Dal Lake in which a houseboat that was being used for residential purposes was gutted while a 9-year-old girl also died in the incident.

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The locals said that the owner of the houseboat has been left with nothing as everything has turned into ashes. While the houseboat has been completely gutted, a girl who died in the blaze has been identified as Nadiya, a class 3rd student.
Officials said that one houseboat used for personal residence namely Flower Garden and one wooden shed GCI-sheet roofed were involved in fire due to an electric short circuit.
They said that the houseboat along with household goods and a wooden shed was severely damaged, while a girl also died due to burn injuries.
As per details, the fire emerged at around 2 am and within no time, razed everything down. “There were no heaters, no cooking gas set up which has left us puzzled over the fact how it all happened; they should be given the necessary assistance as even their savings have been destroyed,” the locals said.
The residents alleged that the fireboats reached the spot after a delay due to which there was increased damage caused to the houseboat.
However, the officials of the Fire & Emergency Department refuted the allegations and said that they reached the spot well in time. They said that time and again they have directed houseboat owners to at least install fire alarms and fire extinguishers. “The same has not been even done so far.”
Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar Hanief Balkhi who reached the spot to assess the damages said that the necessary assistance will be provided by the administration.
“There have been several incidents of fire and we have been urging people to take necessary precautions in this regard,” he said.
Concerning permitting the houseboat owners to construct new ones after the sustaining damages in the fire incidents, VC, LCMA who was also present on the occasion said that the process is ongoing and will be taken care of.
“These matters are discussed and permitted in the high-level meeting as was done earlier in the blaze incident at Nigeen; we will see to it,” he said.
Meanwhile, in another incident in Nigeen area, a residential house in which two families were living was gutted.
The locals said that around 9 pm fire emerged and the same and continued till 1 am during which everything was lost.
“We are left with what we are wearing and what we have earned in the last 40 years has been lost,” a local, Bashir Ahmad said.