One was charred to death and six shops in Tirumala were set on fire

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Six stores were gutted and two more partially damaged when a massive fire broke out at TTD Asthana Mandapam on Tuesday. The charred body of a youth was also found in one of the shops during the removal of debris. The predecessor of the deceased has not yet been clarified.

The fire first broke out in one of the stores that sold electric photo frames and other fancy plastic items and spread to other stores. Thick clouds of smoke and spiraling flames shot from the basement of the monolithic structure in which the shops were located.

The local shopkeepers, who were the first to notice the raging fire, immediately alerted the officials to the fire and at the same time fetched water from the surrounding areas to tame the fire together with the TTD vigilance and security personnel who also met on site.

Given the strategic location of the building, which is less than a furlong from the main temple complex, three fire tenders were rushed and firefighters brought the situation under control after fighting a valiant battle for over an hour. The congested streets and small shops initially proved to be a nuisance for the fire brigade personnel when it came to reaching the area from the other side.

The TTD vigilance authorities, who suspect an electrical short circuit is the cause of the mishap, said the loss of property remains to be determined.

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