THOUBAL, January 27: Twelve shops situated in front of Yairipok CHC were destroyed in a major fire that broke out suddenly at around 7.50 pm on January 26. The damaged shops included eight pharmacies. The loss of properties due to the inferno was unofficially estimated at more than Rs one crore.
Reports added that a fire tender was damaged and three personnel injured after angry public pelted stones apparently enraged by the delay in arriving. Police resorted to blank fires in order to disperse the crowd.
Sources said the fire could have started from one of the pharmacies. The owner said it could have been ignited from a candle or an incense stick. An Activa scooter and an X-ray machine were also razed in the fire. The public complained that early arrival of the fire tender could have reduced the loss suffered. The Thoubal fire station was given timely information yet the fire tender reached the spot very late. Very regretfully, the intervention by the crowd prevented the firemen from attending to their job of controlling the fire even after they had arrived. Only after the fire-fighters apprised Yairipok police and a police team was sent to control the mob, the fire tenders could proceed to the spot and attend to the fire.
The injured firemen were identified as Ningombam Rupendro, driver Maisnam Dinakumar and Yengkhom Britananda. A statement from the fire department stated that the front glass and side crew window glass and other parts of the vehicle bearing registration number 0733 was damaged and a pipe measuring fifty feet was lost.
It denied that report was given to Thoubal fire station and they had rushed to the spot after information was passed from the control room of the district SP.
Later, parliamentary secretary and local MLA Keisham Meghachandra inspected the site and raised the demand for setting up of a fire sub-station at Yairipok in a subsequent meeting with the chief minister O Ibobi in the wake of frequent cases of fire at the town. It may be mentioned that more than Rs five crore worth asset was destroyed in another major fire at Yaripok Bazar on July 21 last year. In addition, the past had witnessed demonstrations in the area demanding a fire sub-station.