Four shops were gutted at Banakal in Mudigere taluk on Wednesday night. Valuables worth over lakhs of rupees have been reduced to ashes.

The fire was initially spotted in one of the shops located in a complex owned by Mahesh Gowda, a resident of Banakal. Gradually it spread to neighbouring shops. The local people informed the Fire and Emergency Services and the police.

A fire tender from Mudigere reached the spot to put out the fire. As it was insufficient to extinguish the fire, another vehicle from Chikkamagaluru was called in. K.P. Shashidhar, District Fire Officer, told that the operation ended by 4.30 a.m. “Four shops, each measuring approximately 10/15 sq.ft, are separated by zinc sheets. The actual reason for the fire is not known. Valuables of a mobile service and sales shop, a bakery, a footwear shop and a hair salon, are lost”, said the officer, who also visited the spot.

The businessmen had not opened the shops for the last few days due to the lockdown.

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