With the Eid-ul-Fitr only few days away, a massive fire yesterday ripped through Ganginarpar Hawkers Market in Mymensingh city, devastating owners of around 150 shops, mostly footwear and clothing stores.
The total estimation of the loss could not be known immediately.
“I hoped for a good sale this year, but all that I had is gone. How will I support my family now?” said Anwar Hossain, owner of a tailoring shop at the market.
Wiping off tears, clothing store owner Mahbub Hossain, father of three children, said he had borrowed Tk 1 lakh with the hope that he would pay the loan back as business is usually good ahead of the Eid.
The fire broke out around 5:30am and nine fire units from the city as well as from Muktagachha and Ishwarganj brought it under control around 10:00am, Shahidur Rahman, deputy director (in charge) of Mymensingh Fire Service and Civil Defence, told this correspondent.
The blaze spread rapidly as most of the shops were stocked with flammable goods such as shoes and garments, he said, adding that they initially presumed the fire might have originated from an electrical short-circuit, but a thorough investigation would be needed to ascertain the cause.
Several firefighters said even though they reached the spot around 6:30am, it took them time to contain the fire as they had difficulty finding a source of water after their stock ran out. They eventually doused the fire with water from a nearby pond.