Along with small huts which covered only few square yards, worn-out charpoys, a few clothes and old utensils were all that were the assets of the residents of a shanty town near Yasinabad Graveyard in Dost Muhammad Goth, Federal B Area, who saw their small sweet homes reduced to ashes in a blaze that erupted on Sunday.
The dwellers of the shanty town included labourers and housemaids along with beggars. Despite being deprived of even basic necessities, they continued the journeys of their lives in their small universe with little fear of any further hardship. However, a fire incident snatched from them whatever little comforts they had got.
“Aag lag gayee [a fire has erupted]” and “Aag Bujhao [extinguish the fire]” were the words being shouted around 11:30am on Sunday that awoke many residents of the shanty town who were enjoying the holiday in slumber. “When I came out of the hut, there were flames everywhere and people were running here and there,” said Faisal, a junk dealer who lived in the dwelling.
Faisal told The News that as he realised the gravity of the situation, he tried to save his stuff at his hut; however, the blaze soon reached his home and he had to flee leaving his all belongings behind.
Over 100 huts near Yasinabad Graveyard were gutted by the fire. However, no casualty was reported in the inferno as the dwellers escaped unhurt. Upon receiving the information, the fire brigade started their efforts to put out the flames. According to a spokesperson for the fire brigade, the fire broke out at approximately 11:30am and soon engulfed a vast area of the shanty town, reducing over 100 huts to ashes.
Initially, one fire tender was dispatched to the fire site, the spokesperson said, adding that as it was not enough to douse the blaze, more fire tenders were later sent to the location, which were able to extinguish the flames after two hours. Over a dozen fire tenders participated in the operation.
The dwellers claimed that the inferno was caused when garbage near the huts was set on fire that was caught by the huts nearby. The residents initially attempted to put out the flames but were unable to stop it from spreading due to heavy winds.
Property and animals worth thousands of rupees were destroyed during the fire. The people affected by the incident have demanded provision of food, blankets and other items as they claim to have lost their every belonging in the inferno. The fire brigade officials said the actual cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. They confirmed that no casualties had been reported in the fire.
A contingent of police also visited the site to investigate the incident. The police officials said the huts that were gutted by the fire were spread over a plot occupying 3,000 square yards. No lead regarding any criminal act was found during the initial investigations, they added.