Published on : Monday, May 13, 2019
Huge fire broke out on Monday at the British-era Grand Hotel in North India’s popular scenic hilly destination, Shimla reducing a portion to ashes. However, no casualties were reported, the local police said.
The hotel’s newly-renovated Mayo Block was completely destroyed in the fire. Since the building was under renovation, there was no guest at the time of the incident. Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel told that the buildings in close proximity were safe and the fire was brought under control. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. The building, located in the vicinity of famous Kali Bari temple, close to Scandal Point, was constructed in British times. Kali Bari temple region is atourist hotspot in Shimla.
Fire fighters were rushed from the Mall Road, Chhota Shimla, and Boileaugang fire stations, but shortage of water hampered the operations as there was no pressure in the hydrants. Tall flames were visible from various parts of the town, as the hotel is located on a crest, close to Kali Bari temple, about 200 m from Scandal Point, adjoining the historic Bantony heritage building.
Mayo Block was a VVIP wing of Holiday Home, and was recently renovated and lavishly furnished. It is usually fully occupied on week-ends, but fortunately as the building was under renovation, there was no guest. The fire broke out around 12.50 am and a police patrol informed the fire station.
Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel, who reached the spot along with SP Omapati Jamwal and Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Rai, said firemen, police and the army assisted in dousing the fire. No employee of Grand Hotel was available, and police had to break open the main gate to enter the premises.
Had employees of the hotel arrived in time and informed us that there was a huge overhead water tank, the building could have been saved, firemen said. The cause of fire could not be immediately ascertained. The fire was brought control around 3 am but the debris was still smouldering.