Six die in Kolkata fire fury

Six die in Kolkata fire fury

Popular confectionery, several apartments gutted; toll may go up

Six die in Kolkata fire fury

One of Kolkata’s most popular confectioneries, Flurry’s, was  gutted in a fire that continued well into Tuesday night, ravaging the 150-year-old building that housed it and several apartments, killing six people and injuring 20 others in the city’s upmarket Park Street.

The fire fury was such that West Bengal sought the assistance of Army firemen after fire brigade personnel failed to extinguish the inferno as the police cordoned off all roads leading to Park Street, which is known for its restaurants and colonial era heritage buildings.

The fire, which could have been caused by an electrical short circuit or bursting of a gas cylinder, broke out at 2:00 pm on the first floor and spread to the third, said state fire services minister Pratim Chatterjee.

City Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty said the toll might go up as the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.

Most of the deaths and injuries occurred after people panicked at the news of the fire and consequent switching off of the power as a safety measure, went wild, jumping from windows, Chakraborty said.

The police feared that some people were still trapped inside the building where firemen continued to battle the raging fire till well into Tuesday night.

The wooden staircase of the building, known as Stephen Court, went up in flames and the top three floors on one side were gutted and crumbled as burning cinder.