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Midnapore: A multi-storied shopping centre at Kharagpur in West Midnapore, belonging to a low-cost garment brand, has been severely damaged in a fire.

The fire broke out early in the morning. It was some joggers who noticed flames coming out from Bazar Kolkata shopping centre located at Kharagpur’s Malancha Road.

They raised an alarm and this made people from the neighbourhood jumped into dousing the flames. Within about 20 minutes, two fire-tenders also rushed in.

After struggling for about an hour, the people and the fire-fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading to other shops and houses. But the Bazar Kolkata building, where the fire broke out, has suffered severe damage.

Neither the fire services department nor the owner of the shopping centre could immediately specify the monetary figure of the losses caused by the fire. Other shopkeepers of the area said that the losses would run INto crores of rupees.

It is not clear at this point as to what caused the fire. The shopping centre was open till late night yesterday for Deepavali sales.

Kharagpur Municipality chairman Pradip Sarkar, however, said: “It appears to be a case of electrical short-circuit. But for the local people who jumped into dousing the fire in time, it could have caused devastation in the area.”

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