20 shops gutted in Mazar carpet market blaze
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): At least 20 carpet shops were gutted in a fire that broke out in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, on Thursday, an official said.
The fire originated from an electric short circuit at a rug market west of Hazrat Ali Shrine at around 2pm and soon engulfed 20 adjoining shops, said fire brigade department official, Abdul Hameed.
He said efforts were underway to completely douse the fire, which has largely been brought under control. The official said an early action to extinguish the fire helped saved huge financial losses to shop owners.
He said the fire could engulf the entire market, but only 20 shops were gutted in the blaze. The official estimated at 100,000 US dollars the losses inflicted on shopkeepers. However, he said an exact amount of losses were yet to be known.
A shop owner, Haji Abdul Saboor, said his two-storey shop was completed destroyed in the fire. He claimed his carpets worth $50,000 were gutted.
Saboor appreciated the early action by the fire brigade department, saying several other shops were rescued.
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