KARACHI At least 108 shops and godowns were gutted when fire erupted in the metropolis second biggest wholesale market, commonly known as Empress Market of Saddar Town, here on Sunday. At leas 40 fire tenders along a large number of firefighters from all fire stations of the city extinguished the fire after several hours hectic efforts, the Chief Fire Officer of the City District Government, Ehtishamuddin told The Nation. All the citys fire tenders from CDGK were called at the scene and following the shortage of fire brigades, more vehicles were called from outskirts of the metropolis, he informed. He however said that 46 shops were totally gutted while 62 shops were partially damaged. He added that it was premature to say what was the cause behind the incident. He said people were attacking everyone and fire tenders and firefighters were also not spared. He said the blaze in the wholesale market was almost put out, but due to the congested area, a large crowd, smoke clouds, suffocation and presence of combustible chemicals in the shops, the fire could not be extinguished completely. Nothing can be said about the time it would take to douse the fire, he added. Chairman Empress Market Association Haji Liaquat said Empress Market was established before partition and situated in the heart of the city where the large numbers of traders mostly working from decades adding that now the fire have ruin the lives of hundred of families. He informed about the incident that the fire was erupted on the wee hours of Sunday around 3:0 clock at the portion of Empress Market adjacent to Jahangir Park and after half an hours the all shops of area turned into ashes. He said the traders have suffered losses up worth billions while thick clouds of smoke could still be seen hovering over the markets adding that some Parts of the buildings have also collapsed due to the intense fire and low-intensity explosions were also being heard. Security personnel were trying to keep people off the affected sites, as following the fire at Empress Market, thousands of people gathered on the scene to witness the deadly blaze. SP Irshad Sehar when contacted informed police have found nothing to prove any hand of terrorist was involved in the incident, however it was big incident, in which most of the shops become trash. Meanwhile Provincial Minister for Information Technology Raza Haroon has said that 108 shops ravaged by fire in Empress Market will be restored in original condition. Financial help will be provided to affectees. Separate committees headed by EDO Revenue Roshan Ali Shaikh and EDO E&IP Dr.Saifur Rehman has been established to ascertain the reason of fire in market, losses suffered by the shopkeepers and restoration work. He was accompanied by Administrator Karachi Muhammad Hussain Syed, EDOs of City Govt Karachi and other officers. On this occasion he also met with the shopkeepers and assured all possible help to them in their early restoration. He also said that representatives of the shopkeepers will also be included in the committee which would enquire into the incident.