A massive fire broke out in a multi-storey building, which houses mainly medicine and perfume shops, early Sunday in the congested Bagree Market in the central part of the city, a senior official of the fire department said.
No casualty has been reported so far, he said.
Thirty fire tenders have been pressed into service to douse the fire in the building that houses over 400 business establishments at the wholesale market
Latest visuals: 30 fire tenders now at the spot in Bagri market on Canning Street in Kolkata where a fire broke out earlier today pic.twitter.com/FhhOWVpDEG— ANI (@ANI) September 16, 2018
"As the area is very congested, we are finding it difficult to work. We are using hydraulic ladders and gas cutters to cut through grills of gates and small windows to enter the building," the senior official said.
The fire broke out around 2.30 am on the ground floor of the building on Canning Street and spread to other floors quickly, he said.
"Even after six hours, we are finding it difficult to contain the fire. A forensic team will be visiting the site to ascertain the cause of the fire. As innumerable inflammable articles were stacked inside the building, the blaze spread quickly," he added.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the airport, "Nobody is trapped in the building. Also, no report of any casualty or injury has reached us".
Unconfirmed reports said people, who resided in the top floor of the building, managed to escape as soon as the fire broke out.
A few angry shop owners alleged that the fire officials took time to start the operation.
Anil Mehta, one of the shop owners, said, "I have lost everything in the blaze just before Durga Puja. My store as well as a godown was gutted in the fire."
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who reached the spot along with senior police officers, told reporters that fire brigade personnel were working hard to contain the blaze.
"We are trying our best but fire fighting operation is tough here because of the number of buildings," he stated.
Traffic restrictions have been imposed in the area owing to the fire.
"Due to a fire incident, Rabindra Sarani in between MG Road & Podder Court and Canning Street in between Brabourne Road & Rabindra Sarani are closed to traffic," the Kolkata Traffic police department tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)