40 shops gutted in mysterious fire in Bhatyas Doda.

At least 40 shops, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Camp office, a residential structure and three government buildings were gutted in a massive blaze at the main market Bhatyas in Bhalessa area of district Doda last night.

Property worth millions of rupees was reduced to ashes but no one was seriously injured in the devastating that broke out around midnight.

“We informed the fire tenders at Thathri and Gandoh simultaneously as Bhatyas market is at equal distance of 16 kms from both the stations. The dousing operation with the help of locals was started at 12:30 AM,” said SDPO Gandoh Sunny Gupta.

“The fire could be controlled only at 5:30 AM but by then 45 structures got completely damaged in the devastating fire as most of the structures were made of dry cedar and pine wood,” he added.

Gupta said that they were investigating the cause of fire. “Foul play can’t be ruled out,” he said.

On April 15, 26 Shops and eight residential houses were gutted in similar midnight blaze in Gandoh market, 16 KM from Bhatyas.

Earlier on February 10, 4 shops, 2 residential houses and a car were damaged in another midnight fire at Malikpura, Gandoh.