Muscat: Fire fighters fought for more than 13 hours to put out the fire which engulfed a building in Barka, residents said.
"The fire, which broke out at around noon on Saturday was put out by fire fighters who fought bravely till 3am yesterday (Sunday). Even though there was material loss, there was no loss of life. The timely action by the fire fighters averted a big disaster," Manoj Kumar, a resident of the gutted building, said.
Three fire fighting vehicles, dozens of fire fighters and water tankers were pressed into service to contain the fire.
Residents presume that the fire could have started in the Emirates Gift Market, a gift shop, functioning from the ground floor.
"The shop was burnt to ashes. They might have suffered a huge loss," residents said.
One expatriate worker, who was stuck inside that shop, was rescued by the fire fighters.
"He suffered breathing problems and was rushed to the hospital by the policemen. Now, we have heard that he is stable," residents said.
Meanwhile, the residents have not been able to ascertain the damage caused due to fire.
'Shortage of water hindered operations'
"We don't know how much we have lost. It is too hot to enter the rooms. Many have shifted to friends' and relatives' homes," Iqbal, another resident, said.
Even though Iqbal's flat on the fourth floor did not suffer any damage, he has moved out because the house is filled with smoke.
"We moved out with some necessary items. Many had to do the same," Iqbal added.
"Shortage of water was hindering the operation initially. Residents and neighbours volunteered in collecting water to put out the fire," Iqbal added.
Meanwhile, the gutted gift shop's owner, Salman Ghaedi, said that he has suffered a loss to the tune of OMR700,000 to 750,000. "During Ramadan, we had even brought more gift items," Ghaedi said.
"But God be thanked, no one was injured and the store is insured," he said.
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