SHIMLA: More than three dozen houses were completely destroyed in a fire which broke out past midnight in Khasani village in Rohroo sub division of Shimla district, about 130 km from here.
As many as 50 families were rendered homeless in the blaze, officials said today.
The fire spread fast and engulfed large number of heavily timbered old houses with traditional wood carving.
Villagers ran out of their houses in panic as the blaze swept.
The villagers fought the flames and stopped the fire from spreading to a cluster of about 150 houses.
However, about 35 to 40 houses were reduced to ashes by the time the fire tenders from Rohroo and Kotkhai arrived at the spot .
The fire brigade fought the flames for more than five hours.
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Rohroo, Babu Ram Sharma, said 50 families rendered homeless by the blaze have been provided immediate relief of Rs 10,000, temporary shelter, clothes and ration .
The cause of fire was yet to be ascertained, he said adding old houses were made of wood and immediately caught fire.
The villagers said the fire was caused due to short circuiting and spread fast leaving no time to salvage the belongings which were reduced to ashes.
Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Amit Kashyap , who reached the spot, said relief camps have been set up and community kitchen has been started for victims and all possible assistance was being rendered.
He said revenue officers were assessing the loss.