A fire seemingly caused by an electrical short circuit burnt down a building in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district in the early hours of Thursday, destroying its three floors, as many shops and a car parked nearby, officials said. The fire started around 1:30 am at the building located in Mathola village of Bhadarwah belt, they said, adding that the property belongs to Sepoy Mukesh Kumar of Assam Rifles who is currently posted in Manipur.
Fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot, and an operation was launched to douse the flames as shops and houses adjoining the building are mostly made of dry cedar and pine wood, the officials said. Omkar Singh, the owner of a departmental store that was gutted, lamented that he had recently taken a loan to procure goods worth Rs 20 lakh.
"Whatever stock accumulation was done in recent days for winters has turned into ashes and nothing could be saved," he said. Mukesh Kumar's wife Darshana Devi said she managed to only save her two kids, and nothing else.
"We have spend all our life's savings to build a home, but in a couple of hours every thing turned to ashes," she said. Bhadarwah ADC Rakesh Kumar said as per preliminary investigation, there are no signs of any foul play.
"It appears that there is no foul play, and the fire started due to a short circuit. A team has been already deputed to access the losses, and we will compensate the family under the SDRF scheme at the earliest," he added.