The historic Minto Court building in Shimla – the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India – was recently gutted by fire. The Tudor-framed structure was built in Boileuganj area of Shimla in 1904 and, during British rule, it was used as quarters for the Viceregal Band.
Firefighters had a tough time in controlling the devastating fire, which spread quickly as most of the structure was made of timber. Apparently, fire tenders took around 30 minutes to reach the building and fire hydrants installed at the building failed to work. This was not the first time that fire hydrants failed at a building on fire. In January firefighting operations at the historic Gorton Castle building were hindered due to the same reason, resulting in the destruction of two floors of the building.
While short-circuit is being cited as the reason behind the latest fire, a magisterial probe has been ordered to formally determine the cause.