The investigation is going on in the fire accident that gutted more than a dozen shops at Sweet Meat Street (S.M.Street) in Kozhiokode on Wednesday night.
The fire started from Beauty Stores,rented out by T.Nasirudeen,Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopanasamithi state president,as per the version of eyewitnesses.
Kozhikode town police,the fire force and the forensic officials are coordinating the inquiry.
As per the first information received from the Kerala State Electricity Board Authorities, it was not a short circuit.
Another mysterious element is the time of the incident.The fire broke out around 10 pm.Normally ,many shops in S.M.Street are stay opened at that time and a huge smoke and fire can be easily noticed by neighboring merchants before that spread in such a severe manner to neighbouring shops.
The statement of a top merchant leader on the incident also arises some doubts,say merchant sources.
Earlier times also there were major fires in the S.M.Street, and later revealed those were part of some sabotages.
After one of the major fire happened before,a merchant leader had allegedly amassed a huge fund from an NRI business man,for the revival of those ruined shops .But,most of the eligible small scale merchants didn’t get any portion of that huge fund or received a name sake support .
The leader was also facing many charges including corruption.
Some merchants in the S.M.Street share their anxiety on similar possibilities.However,these merchants want to say this by keeping their identity; anonymous.
Town Circle Inspector T.P.Ashraf is leading the investigation.Merchants and local people will be interrogated on this incident.
Most of the shops in S.M.Street are being run by small scale merchants who run as partnership business. Many of them had been shop-keepers for longtime with big shops.
For many these shops are their lively-hood.
S.M.Street :unsafe ?
According to the highly placed sources in the Fire and Rescue Department S.M.Street shops are still unsafe.Majority shops do not maintain any safety measures during an emergency.
The fire force had made them aware of the emergency measures to be taken by the buildings and shops,especially during a fire like emergency.
Majority of the shops do not maintain a fire- extinguisher. This is a first safety lapse on the part of business people,say the fire force sources.
The age old building structure and narrow pathways and the establishment of shops too far away from road access also cause worry in the case of safety mechanism.
On the incident night ,the fire force personnel had a tough time to reach there and curb the fire.
The Fire Force people couldn’t reach the place of origin on the day of the fire.Somehow,they managed to reach that spot only on Thursday .
By then all the possible evidence of a sabotage could have been destroyed as ashes.
Still there is some forensic and chemical tests which may reveal some decisive proof .
Where is the pond?
Some senior merchants say there was a pond in the present Koyenco Complex in the S.M.Street.It was an age old one built during the reign of the Zamorins.
Now, it is huge buildings in that spot.
If the pond was there, it could have helped the fire force people to get their water tank filled, immediately to control the fire.