KARACHI: Deputy Chief Fire Officer Syed Imtiaz Afzal on Monday has expressed suspicion over Timber Market fire and said that it could be an inside job or arson.
He said it could not be understood that how fire engulfed the area so fast, while timber is a kind of wood which is not used for burning and it takes time to catch fire.
“If it was an accidental fire then it should not have leapt so fast. The color of fire was carbon blue which showed as if there was some chemical burning with the fire. In fact as high as 160-170 degree Celsius temperature is needed to burn that wood,” he said.
Afzal said he did not know that who could have got benefit by harming the shopkeepers of the market established since British-era; however the loss was not as big for the shopkeepers as was being shown on media because the shopkeepers were insured.
The fire officer said that his department did not get any call before 1:19am that night. Although, a man approached the fire station at 1:19am which was at a distance of not more than half a kilometer from the incident and within a couple of minutes fire tenders had reached there. Amazingly there was no panic. People were already evacuated.
Muhammed Hussain, a shopkeeper of the market, wearing Sindhi cap and sporting red-colored small beard, told PPI that most of the shopkeepers were insured and he also acknowledged that his house was nearby and before he could reach on the spot fire fighters had started working. “Fire was unnaturally spreading very fast,” he said.
He told that there used to be only one watchman, who was sleeping at the time fire started.
Commissioner Karachi was not available on phone for comments despite making repeated calls.