Kozhikode: The investigation is on into a major fire at Kallayi in the early hours of Sunday in which a furniture shop and a sawmill gutted. The losses are estimated at Rs 1.5 crore.
It took five hours for nine units of fire engines from four fire stations to extinguish the fire that broke around 3.30 am. There were no casualties.
Kunnath Furniture at Mooriyad, owned by Biju hailing from Mankavu, had been selling furniture made locally. The fire destroyed the entire unit.
The adjacent New Kerala Sawmill, owned by Ramesh P.G. from Kottooli, was also gutted. Police is investigating what triggered the fire. Units from Kozhikode beach, Meenchanda, Vellimadukunnu, and Narikkuni, were involved in dousing the fire. Since woods were burnt, firefighters said, it took more time to extinguish it.
Meanwhile, locals complain that groups of men used to roam around the area during the night, and public drinking and smoking was common. It is also suspected that since the backyard of the shops had flammable wooden waste and other materials, it is easier to catch fire from a cigarette thrown into it.
“There are no clear indications of purposefully burning the waste material. We are also probing the possibility of a short circuit in one of the shops. Scientific experts have inspected the area and collected evidence,” Kasaba SI S. Sajeevan, the investigating officer, said. District fire officer Arun Bhaskar said the heat and wind could have fuelled its spread....