Locals say the welding shop was a front located outside a godown. Inside, were gas cylinders where some people were allegedly running an illegal refill racket.
Swarna Kamal Shah, the local legislator, who visited the spot, said, “We had no idea this illegal gas filling was going on. It will be investigated.”
Not far from where the fire broke is Chinatown, home of Kolkata’s Chinese residents and several popular restaurants. A decorative gate leading to Chinatown also got burnt.
Residents of a huge housing complex, Vrindavan Garden, near the site of the fire were also in a panic.
Five fire engines put out the fire quickly but later, two bodies were found in the debris, of the owner of the welding shop and one of his workers.