A fire broke out at the historic Grand Hotel in Shimla in the early hours of Monday. The fire, which broke out at 12.50 am, was eventually doused and no casualties or injuries were reported in the incident, however, the Mayo Block was completed gutted, news agency ANI reported. The Mayo Block, the VVIP wing, housed the Holiday Home of the Central government. It was recently renovated and lavishly furnished. It is usually fully occupied on week-ends, but fortunately as the building was under renovation, there was no guest.
As many as five fire tenders were rushed from the Mall Road, Chhota Shimla, and Boileaugang fire stations, but shortage of water hampered the operations as there was no pressure in the hydrants, The Tribune reported. Tall flames were visible from various parts of the town, as the hotel is located on a crest, close to Kali Bari temple, about 200 m from Scandal Point, adjoining the Bantony heritage building.
Since no employee of the hotel at the site and the police had to break open the main gate to enter the premises. Had employees of the hotel arrived in time and informed us that there was a huge overhead water tank, the building could have been saved, firemen said as reported The Tribune.
Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel, SP Omapati Jamwal and Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Rai reached the iconic spot. The police said they along with firemen the army assisted did not allow the spread to other buildings.