Two fire fighters spray water on the flames at Mohammadpur Krishi Market on 14 September 2023.
Sazid Hossain

The fire service and civil defence said the fire that broke out at the capital’s Mohammadpur Krishi Market might have originated from an electric short circuit or a mosquito coil of a grocery shop.

However, how the fire actually started could be learned after investigation, fire service and civil defence director (operation and maintenance) Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Tajul Islam Chowdhury said.

He said this while briefing the media on Thursday morning in front of the market.

A devastating fire broke out in the capital’s Mohammadpur Krishi Market after 3:30 am on Thursday. Seventeen units of the fire service worked to control the fire. A special team of army, navy and air force also joined the operation to assist the fire service. Firefighters brought the flame under control at around 9:25 am.

At the briefing, Tajul Islam Chowdhury said the fire service received news on the incident at 3:43 pm and at first, a unit from Mohammadpur started working to douse the flame at 3:52 am.

As the flame continued to intensify, a total of 17 units joined the operation gradually, and the fire was brought under control entirely at 9:25 am. The fire service was removing debris from the market, he added.

Tajul Islam Chowdhury further said 150 fire service personnel joined the operation and they were assisted by the army, navy, air force and Dhaka WASA (Water Supply and Sewerage Authority).

Saying that the fire started at a grocery shop in the market, he explained how the fire originated could be learned after the investigation concludes. However, they initially suspected the fire might originate from an electric short circuit or a mosquito coil.

Tajul Islam Chowdhury said no death was reported in the incident and several fire service personnel sustained minor injuries during the operation, but they faced obstacles to douse the flame because of makeshift shops and curious crowd in front of the market.

There were 100 shops at the market and the extent of damage could be assessed after investigation. The fire service has declared the market abandoned, he added.

However, several traders of the Mohammadpur Krishi Market told Prothom Alo there were about 600 small and large shops at the market.