Thick clouds of smoke engulfed the Pattalam market area in the heart of Thrissur when a massive fire erupted on Friday. The well-known market is a hub for vehicle spare parts in the town and consists of 100-odd shops. The fire is suspected to have begun after sparks from electric lines fell on a patch of grass near the shops.
According to reports, at least five shops have been completely burnt. The shops, which caught fire, were stacked up old vehicle tires. Tiny explosions could be heard, which is reported to have been caused by car engines that contained leftover petrol and diesel. Fire units have been summoned from different districts to quell the situation.
Currently, two units are attempting to douse the fire. A fire unit from Puthucad, too, has been summoned. More fire engines are on the way to the market.
The local police are currently clearing people from the area and businesses have been disrupted for many.
Pattalam Market, which houses nearly 120 shops, is a traderâ€™s hub in the centre of Thrissur town, near the Shakhan bus stand in the town. The Market also doubles as an auto salvage yard.
The fire broke out around 4:20 pm on Thursday and soon continued to spread to other shops, with plumes of smoke rising into the sky. The fire force units continued to douse the fire in one area and more units are arriving.
Speaking to TNM, a police officer from Thrissur East Police station said, â€śThe market sells vehicle spare parts, dismantles and sells old cars etc. A heap of spare parts was kept in the area and this caught fire. The fire continued for about an hour. Two shops have been completely burnt. We had to call four fire force units to quell the fire and bring the situation under control.â€ť