Shimla: A major disaster was avoided after a massive fire broke out near the adjoining forest of Bal Ashram in the Tutikandi locality of Shimla. The fire was so intense that it was about to spread through the Bal Ashram building. However, no loss of life or injuries were reported in the incident.

At that time, children were having their lunch and panicked after they saw the flames approaching their building. Ashram’s administration and girls tried to douse the fire but were unsuccessful.

The Ashram administration immediately informed the police and fire department who reached the spot and doused the fire with the help of local residents.

Deputy Fire Officer Bhupendra Singh Thakur said that the fire was doused by connecting a pipe to a hydrant. Local people also helped in extinguishing the fire. Ten LPG cylinders were removed of the ashram amidst the chaos.

Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee Amita Bhardwaj said that everyone is safe and children have been shifted to other ashrams for three days.

As many as 20 children were taken to Shishu Greh at US Club, Shimla while at least 73 girls were taken to Balika Ashram, Mashobra.

The state has been recording massive forest fire incidents this year due to excessive heatwave. A few days back, a massive forest fire was also reported in Tara Devi, district Shimla. A cold store in Jarol-Tikkar, district Shimla was also damaged in fire after a forest fire spread through the building.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.