Building near Lahore's Liberty Market engulfed by fire
LAHORE: An electrical short circuit in a department store behind Lahore's Liberty Market on Monday turned into a blaze.
The fire continues to rage eight hours after emergency services reached the location. Thick smoke has engulfed the area. According to the District Coordination Officer Lahore, 114 people have been evacuated.
No loss of life was reported, but at least six ─ including four rescuers ─ have sustained minor injuries due to broken glass at the scene.
The fire started when a short-circuit occurred on the first floor and spread to the second, third and fourth floors of the four-storey building.
The fire has been controlled on the ground and first floors, but is still raging uncontrollably on the third and fourth floors because of the thick smoke and inaccessibility of the store, as well as the intensity of the fire. Rescue efforts have been hampered as the department store can only be accessed through a single route.
There are at least 18 firefighting vehicles on location, but firefighters are still struggling to put out the fire. The presence of oil within the department store contributed to the spread of the fire and is making it difficult to extinguish.
Rescuers say it may take up to three hours to put out the oil-based fire. Rescue teams are using chemicals in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. Rescuers are experiencing difficulty breathing due to the thick smoke.
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