SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, April 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 20 shops and five residential houses were gutted in a devastating fire Tuesday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.
The fire broke out late Monday night in the Awoora area of Kupwara district, about 95 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Kashmir.
No loss of life was reported in the incident.
"In a devastating incident of fire early today, at least 20 shops and five houses were gutted here," Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, G M Dar told Xinhua over telephone. "Besides this some other structures including a bank suffered partial damage."
According to Dar, fire began in one of the bakery shops and immediately spread to adjacent one's in the marketplace.
"Most of the structures in the market were made of wood that is why the fire cause a extensive destruction," Dar said.
The officials of region's Fire and Emergency Services department said it took several hours for them to contain fire and douse the flames.
"The fire broke out at around 12:00 a.m. (local time) and after struggling hard for hours together, we were able to contain flames and prevent it from spreading to further area," an official said.
Chances of fire in villages and cites in Kashmir are usually high as people usually ignore safety standards vis-a-vis fire and store fuel and combustible materials in a haphazard manner.