Six shops were gutted and two other partially damaged when a massive fire broke out at TTD Asthana mandapam on Tuesday. The charred body of a youth was also found in one of the shops during the clearing of debris. The antecedent of the deceased is not yet established.
The fire initially broke out at one of the shops merchandising electrical photo frames and other plastic fancy items and spread to other shops. Thick clouds of smoke and spiraling flames lept out of the basement of the monolithic structure housing the shops.
The local shopkeepers who were first to notice the raging fire immediately alerted the fire to the officials and simultaneously fetched water from the nearby areas in their attempt to tame the fire along with TTD vigilance and security staff who had also converged at the spot.
Given the strategic location of the building situated less than a furlong from the main temple complex, three fire tenders were rushed and the fire personnel after putting up a valiant fight for over an hour brought the situation under control. The congested alley lanes and small petty shops initially proved irksome to the fire personnel in reaching the spot from the other side.
The TTD vigilance authorities who suspect an electrical short circuit to be the reason behind the mishap said that the loss of property is yet to be ascertained.