In the span of three days, another fire has claimed over 50 stores in a market in Bandarban’s Thanchi Upazila.
The fire started in Thanchi Bazar at 8 am on Saturday, said Peyar Mahmud, team leader of the Thanchi fire service.
Fifty-two stores had been gutted by a fire in Thanchi’s Boli Bazar on Wednesday.
Two fire service units were dispatched to the scene when the fire was reported on Saturday morning, Peyar said. They were able to bring the fire under control but another 51 or 52 stores had already burnt down.
“The fire started from a short circuit at a store named Maya Gas House in the market,” Peyar said. “We haven’t been able to calculate the total damage yet. It will be determined after an investigation.”
Touhid, who owned a store that sold construction materials like rods, cement, and different types of pipes, said that his stock was lost in the blaze.
The fire destroyed everything but the rods, he said, and the rods are burnt and can’t be sold.
The fire spread in all directions just after it started, said Jamal whose clothing store was damaged in the blaze. The size of the fire prevented anyone from getting near it, he said.
“My entire clothing store was gutted by the fire. I wasn’t able to save any of my stock. It can take years to restore a business after a fire. Sometimes it still doesn’t work out.”
Mongmashe Marma, another shop owner, said he had stores selling computers and clothes. Both burnt down.
Many clothing orders had come in for the upcoming Sangrai new year celebrations for the Marma and Rakhine ethnic groups, he said. All of the clothes were lost in the blaze.
It was enough to make someone collapse in despair, he said.
It is extremely unfortunate that two such fires occurred within a week, said Abul Mansur, the executive upazila officer in Thanchi.
Some support would be provided to the victims after discussions with local representatives and the heads of the upazila council, he said.