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‘My shop, business all go up in flames’

Staff Reporter:

Abdul Malek, owner of a shop at New Supermarket – next to Dhaka New Market – said he saw his busi-ness go up in flames when a massive fire broke out early Saturday.
Witnessing the flames from the over-bridge in front of the market, Malek was inconsolable as he had just stocked up for the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
“My shop, my goods, my livelihood – all gone,” he cried. “What do I do now?”
Sohag, a college student from Shariatpur, came to Dhaka to make some extra money during the summer.
He had been working at a relative’s shop in New Supermarket, but the sudden fire took away both the shop and his job.
Shakil, owner of a makeshift watch shop, had left his stocks in a nearby store on Thursday night after a busy day at work.
At around 6 am today, he received a call informing him about the fire.
Rushing to the market, he found that his shop, along with many others, had been completely destroyed.
Meanwhile, Shahadat, a firefighter who was working to extinguish the fire, described the scene as chaot-ic and dangerous. The smoke was so thick that many of the firefighters were getting sick, and the fire had spread quickly to the second and third floors of the market.
The shop owners and employees have been trying to get the goods out of their shops after the fire broke out.
A shop owner said that there are more than 1000 shops – mostly clothing stores – in the south building of the market and there are about 500 shops on the second and third floors.
At least 19 people fell sick from the heavy smoke while trying to douse the blaze.
The fire was brought under control around 9:10 am. A total of 28 firefighting units and teams of Bang-ladesh Army, Navy and Air Force are still working to douse the fire. Twelve Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) units are also working at the site.

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