Pune, May 25 (IANS): At least seven timber godowns and eight nearby houses were gutted in a fire that broke out in one of the premises around 4 a.m. here on Thursday, officials said.
There are no casualties in the blaze.
According to the Pune Fire Brigade, the incident was reported from a timber market area of Bhavani Peth and continues to rage after nearly six hours.
At least 40 fire-tenders and around 140 firemen are battling to bring the blaze under control, while gas cylinders from nearby homes were moved out to prevent a bigger tragedy.
An official said that owing to the heat and the dry wood, the flames quickly spread to the adjoining timber shops and four residences, plus the water pressure was very low owing to supply restrictions that apparently hampered the fire-fighting operations.
Later, the blaze engulfed around half a dozen classrooms of the government-run R. A. Kidwai Urdu School, which is behind the timber mart and presently closed for vacations.
Local eyewitnesses blamed the Pune Municipal Corporation for not providing proper facilities to the timber market despite repeated pleas, as the mart was a huge revenue generator for the civic body.
The area is also plagued by illegal constructions, lack of proper infrastructure and throwing norms to the wind that made it vulnerable to such disasters.