Large fire in Baghdad market kills shopkeeper, damages neighborhood

A person lost his life in a massive fire on Thursday in Baghdad, while a similar incident broke out on the same day in the city of Kut on the left bank of the Tigris River.
author_image Kosar Nawzad

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A person lost his life in a massive fire on Thursday in Baghdad, while a similar incident broke out on the same day in the city of Kut on the left bank of the Tigris River.

A massive fire broke out in shops early in the day in the public market near the Tigris River on the east side of the capital of Iraq, according to security sources who said the cause is unknown.

One of the sources told Kurdistan 24 that at least one person died in the fire and several others were having trouble breathing due to inhaling vast amounts of smoke and were taken to a hospital. Firefighters also arrived at the scene and worked on extinguishing the blaze.

It is not immediately clear what the extent of the damage caused by the fire is, but individuals at the scene predicted millions of dinars.

In Kut, a city in the al-Wasit Province, southeast of Baghdad, a similar fire killed a shopkeeper in the Chechen neighborhood at the center of the town, witnesses said on Thursday.

The scale of the losses or damages is as of yet unknown.

Another fire on Thursday broke out in a school gymnasium in central Kirkuk.

Witnesses said the fire began in the gymnasium building’s garden, but firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze which only caused damage to property.

Electrical fires are quite frequent in Iraq, especially during the summer. High temperatures, a strained power grid, and tangled, exposed wires, are a safety risk which has yet to be addressed by governing authorities.

Tangled electrical wires hangs from utility poles in front of the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad's al-Adhamiyah district. (Photo: AFP)
Tangled electrical wires hangs from utility poles in front of the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad's al-Adhamiyah district. (Photo: AFP)

Iraqi authorities blame either electrical problems for such fires or the lack of compliance by shop-owners and complexes with safety and prevention controls.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany