THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seven shops were gutted in a major blaze near Varkala helipad on Sunday morning. One super market, one textile shop, three Kashmiri stalls and a restaurant were gutted in the fire that broke out at the wee hours of the day. There were no human casualties. The shop owners said they incurred a loss of about two crore rupees in the fire.
According to the police, the narrow alley where the shops are located, hindered the Fire and Rescue Department’s effort. “It took more than two hours to bring the fire under control,” said a police officer. The police sources said the shops were operating illegally from the government land. “Since the shops function outside the purview of law, the shop owners will not be able to claim compensation or insurance coverage”, said Varkala police SHO G Gopakumar.
Gopakumar added that a detailed investigation should help ascertain the cause of fire. “We will check the available CCTV visuals to know what happened in the area. All the aspects will be covered during the investigation,” he said. However, the biggest challenge before the police is that the area where fire broke out is not covered by CCTV cameras.