Short circuit is believed to have triggered the blaze
Six shops were gutted in a blaze that broke out near Post Office Junction at Punalur around 2 a.m. on Thursday. It took around three-and-a-half hours to put out the fire and a Fire and Rescue Services personnel suffered injuries in the process. “We got the call at 2.40 a.m. and when we reached the spot, the fire had spread to all six shops. Fire engines from Kottarakkara, Pathanapuram, and Kadakkal were deployed along with two units from Punalur station. We used around 12 tanks of water to douse the fire,” said P. Sasidharan, an officer from the Punalur fire station. While two small jewellery shops, a textile shop and a fancy store were reduced to ashes, a footwear shop was partially destroyed. The cause of the fire is assumed to be short circuit, though it is not yet confirmed. “A witness said the fire broke out at a shop in the middle. The total loss is estimated to be around ₹20 lakh,” Mr. Sasidharan said. Traffic was disrupted in the Kollam-Shencottah National Highway for over three hours after the accident.