Bur Dubai Hindu temple to open today after fire in nearby shops
Dubai - The temple is visited by thousands of Hindu expatriates in the UAE.
Two small novelty stores below the Hindu temple in Bur Dubai, Dubai, caught fire at approximately 1am on Monday morning, Khaleej Times has learnt.
The shops were located exactly next to the staircase leading up to the temple, however, the temple itself did not sustain any damages, confirmed Indian businessman and temple caretaker Vasu Shroff. He is also one of the chairmen of the Hindu temple.
The fire began at a store called Al Dafa Novelty shop, one of the several small flower shops located in the small alley that houses the two Hindu temples. "We've been told that there was a short circuit caused by overheating of electrical appliances; a freezer in this case," said Shroff.
A security guard saw smoke come out of the closed shutters and Civil Defense authorities were immediately alerted. In the meanwhile, the fire spread to the store right next door, explained the temple caretaker. Shroff said several of the temple staff live in the apartments on the first floor as well. All members were evacuated.
"The fire was put out by civil defense before it could spready any further. The temple, however is safe, as it is on the first floor of the building. The fire took place on the ground floor," he explained. Power and water supply to buildings in the area were cut as a safety protocol to avoid any further short circuits.
The temple remained closed on Monday, and is expected to reopen on Tuesday as Hindu expatriates are celebrating Mahashivratri, a Hindu festival on February 18, said Shroff. Shop owners and temple staff were in the process of cleaning the small lane on Monday to reopen the temple to devotees on Tuesday.
"Thousands of devotees visit the temple every year on this day. It is a very auspicious day for Hindus. Power and water supply should be restored soon. We will reopen by tomorrow by the grace of God," he said.
Located in the heart of Souq Al Baniyan, one of the oldest market places in Dubai's Bur Dubai, the Hindu temple is visited by thousands of Hindu expatriates in the UAE.
"These buildings are nearly 100 years old. The entire structure is made of wood. That could explain why the fire spread quickly. We started out careers in these small shops and buildings," he said.