A cycle repair shop was gutted while a nearby building was also partially damaged in a fire at Cortalim on Thursday.
Two fire tenders were pressed into service to extinguish the flames.
While short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire, what worsened the situation were some gas cylinders which burst in the shop.
John Coutinho, whose nearby building was damaged, claims to have heard the sounds at about 5 am. “I and my wife were getting ready to go for Mass when we heard at least three loud sounds,” Coutinho told Herald.
Anthony De Sa who lives around 200 metres from the spot of the accident, said he was woken up by his wife after she heard the loud noise.
Some locals alleged that apart from cycle repairs, gas cylinders were being sold at the shop, a charge denied by the shop owner, Modu Naik.
“Yes, there were cylinders in my shop but I was helping those who could not collect their cylinders from the delivery vehicle. However, there was no commercial trade,” Naik told Herald.
Meanwhile, Verna Police conducted the panchanama and a fire accident case was registered and is investigating the case. [H]