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A House on fire
I have often heard that smoking is injurious to health. It was, however, last Sunday that I realized that it could destroy a whole house and endanger the life of the dwellers.
Last Sunday, as I got up a bit late in the morning, I heard a loud noise outside in the street. At first, I dismissed it taking it for a noisy brawl between two quarrelsome neighbours who had recently shifted in our street from some other town.
The noise, however, was so loud that I could not help going out. To my great surprise, I found the people running towards the eastern side of the street. They had buckets of water and sand in their hands.
As I looked towards the east, I saw tall, fork flames of fire and clouds of smoke. Without wasting a moment, I rushed towards the side of flames.
I was greatly shocked to learn that the famous tailor, Mr. Rahmat Ali’s house was on fire. It was learnt that Ali being a chain smoker, could not resist smoking even while stitching costly clothes. As a speck of burning cigarette fell on the silk and polyester clothes, they caught fire. The fire spread to the other occupant of the house, Mr. Pritam Kumar who happened to be a cloth merchant and had dumped bundles of cotton, silk and polyester cloth in his rooms. He like Ali, was also a tenant in the house.
Needless to say that the fire engulfed the whole house and within a short period of the time, not only the costly cloth and stitched clothes but also, all the furniture and wood articles such as doors, windows, ventilators, etc. were reduced to ashes.
Meanwhile the landlord also arrived. He beat his breast in vain. All the people’s efforts to control fire were also futile. I rang up the fire brigade. It came within a few minutes and controlled the fire after a hard struggle of about two hours.