LAHORE - As many as 11 mini markets including seven plazas, 250 shops and 50 houses in the area of Walled City reduced to ashes after fire erupted early on Monday near Shah Alam Market, leaving four dead and over 30 injured. The condition of 12 wounded was told critical at the Burn Unit of the Mayo Hospital. The City District Government and Rescue 1122 Fire Fighters said the fire broke out because of short-circuiting but nothing could be claimed with certainty. The fire broke out at about 7:30 am from a corner of Mochi Gate, a densely populated commercial area. According to preliminary assessment, the loss amounts to Rs 2 billion till filing of this report. Officials, however, said they were estimating the total loss caused by the fire. Khusnood Butt, owner of Butt Tower, said the worth of his plaza is about Rs 50 million, but the total loss could not be assessed so early. Dr Rizwan Naseer, Rescue1122 DG, told reporters: The fire erupted in the 10-storey Bahria Centre commercial, situated at the Wallled City, and the flames spread to three other buildings, one mosque and two houses. The narrow lanes of the old City hampered rescue efforts as fire engines were not long enough to reach the multi-storey buildings in the congested neighbourhood. District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahad Cheema said: At least 30 people have sustained multiple burn injuries. The federal capital of the country has been conveyed to extend its cooperation by sending a helicopter to extinguish the fire. Dozens of houses have been damaged due to the fire, while the local residents have been requested to vacate their houses temporarily, he further told. Talking about the situation, Operation in-charge Ahmad Raza said: The rescuers are fighting but we are still unsuccessful.The eyewitnesses said three mosques - Buqan Khan, Cheeti Masjid and Oonchi Masjid -, Bahria Centre, seven plazas, and over 250 shops had been completely collapsed. A helicopter, rescue teams of the Civil Defence, City District Government and Rescue 1122 were trying to put out the fire that engulfed whole areas. Fire brigades, water boozers, aerial and rescue vehicles are taking part in the grand operation, a fire fighter said. He, however, complained that due to collapsed system of hydrants in the Walled City, the fire vehicles had to fetch water from their main center. Of the 30 injured persons who had been brought to the Burn Unit of the Mayo Hospital and, few of them may die as their condition is critical, a senior doctor said. Dozens of people and families are still trapped inside the buildings, a local resident Sameer Khan said. My mother, sister and two brothers are still under the debris, a seven-year-old Umair told this scribe. Sources said that two of the fire vehicles of Rescue 1122 could not take part in the operation being their engines out of order. The local residents also staged a protest demonstration against the officials of Sui Gas as according to their claims they repeatedly called on 1199 for conveying them to disconnect the gas supply but to no avail. The protestors complained they even approached Sui Gas office but none of them bothered to pay heed towards their complaint.