Police suspect that a short circuit caused the blaze.

60 huts reduced to ashes after fire breaks out near Hyderabads Exhibition GroundFile Photo
news Fire Accident Friday, April 14, 2017 - 20:04

Thirty-year-old Rafiya Begum sits on a half-burnt cot in a narrow lane in front of the Exhibition Ground’s Ajanta Gate in Nampally.  Her brother Shahid searches for things that may be salvageable from the burnt down house.

At 9am on Friday, a major fire consumed the neighbourhood, destroying nearly 60 out of the 200 huts.  

Most families are migrant labourers from Andhra Pradesh, who have been residing the area for the past 10 years. With most huts reduced to ashes, several families have lost most of their belongings – clothes, cash and even jewellery in the blaze.

 “We heard people shouting ‘fire, fire’. So, we immediately came out of the house to see. The next thing we know, our hut also caught fire before we could take anything out,” says Rafiya, who has been residing in Nampally for 40 years.

P Ravi, another resident, was one of the first one to notice the fire.

“Some people are saying the fire started because garbage was being burnt. I saw a gas cylinder burst from one the huts. We tried pouring as much water as there was little we could do as the flames had spread,” says Ravi.

Police say that fire tenders reached the spot 10 minutes after being alerted.

“There are no casualties, but 60 huts have been totally damaged by the fire. As many as five fire tenders rushed to the spot to put out the blaze,” says a police official.

The police suspect that the fire broke out following a short circuit.

But it’s not just houses that were destroyed in the fire, many lost their livelihoods too in the blaze.

Sharmila, whose only source of income was making bamboo baskets, says, all her baskets were damaged along with two months’ worth of raw materials.

“Everything is gone. We are ruined. I made around 20 baskets and I could only save five. All the material is gone. Even my clothes are gone, this is the only thing I have left,” she says between sobs.

The fire could not have come at a worse time for those like Rafiya, who was preparing for her niece’s wedding on Saturday.

 “All the gold ornaments, the money we saved from the business, her wedding clothes everything is damaged. We keep the money we make every day, in a box. See the box is burnt with all the money. We had nearly Rs 15,000,” says Rafiya.

“When we told the groom’s family about the incident, they said we have one month to give whatever we promised for the wedding. It took us 15 years to save all that, how are we supposed to recover all that in one month,” cries Faizal, Rafiya’s brother.

Officials have made temporary arrangements inside the Exhibition Ground for 200 people, whose huts were destroyed in the fire.

“The police had even arranged food and water for us for next the three days. We will sleep tonight inside the ground. But what we don’t know what are we going to do after that,” says T Rao.

With everything lost in the flames, residents now plan to seek help from the collector to rebuild their huts.  




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