In the series of fire blazes that took place in India, this recent fire incident is the biggest one of them all.
A massive blaze broke out at a godown in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar on Tuesday evening, the latest in a series of factory fires this year.
The chief fire officer Atul Garg was at the spot to fight the blaze. He and other officers complained of suffocation and had to be admitted to a hospital. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. But officials pegged the losses roughly around Rs 5 crore.
No casualty was reported but chief fire officer of the Delhi fire services, Atul Garg, fell unconscious during the firefighting operations. The fire also partially engulfed a school building and a gymnasium, fire officials said.
Fire officers said the fire was of the “highest magnitude” this season. Plastic and raw material stored at the factory fuelled the fire.
Delhi Police personnel, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) staff and firefighters reached the spot. At least 35 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to contain the blaze. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Somnath Bharti also visited the spot.
Police and DDMA staff made continuous announcements, asking residents to stay inside their houses. All vehicles were removed as a precautionary measure.
Speaking to the reporters earlier in the evening, Garg said the fire was reported at their control room at 4.17 pm.
“This fire was of the highest magnitude so far in this season. The fire started from a truck and spread to a godown of rubber and plastic raw material where the vehicle was parked. The godown is right behind Sant Nirankari Public School and had it occurred in the afternoon, evacuation of children would have been challenging as the area is congested,” Garg said.
So far, firefighters had no information about anyone stuck being in the building.
Fire chief GC Mishra said the fire might have caused a portion of the school building to collapse.
It isn’t known what caused the fire, but a witness is learnt to have told the police that a labourer smoking a beedi threw it without stubbing it and a truck parked adjacent to the godown caught fire that way. The truck was completely gutted.
AAP legislator Somnath Bharti said the incident brings to fore his pending demand of a fire station nearby. On whether the godown was being illegally run, Somnath said it is a matter of investigation.
“There’s a chemical factory behind the school. We saw the fire around 4.30 pm and one of the residents called the fire and police. Smoke entered our houses, said Rajni Kapani, who lives right in front of the godown.
Veenu Mansharamani, another resident, said such godowns next to school building are illegal. “The area is residential and the fire could have easily engulfed houses. The situation could have been worse,” she said.
In another incident, a fire broke out at a ground where vehicles seized by police in the south district were stashed in Pushp Vihar. Eight fire tenders, five PCR Vans 20 persons from civil defence and one QRT from disaster management, and local police reached the spot and controlled the fire and situation,” deputy commissioner of police (south), Romil Baaniya said.
The area also has several apparel shops, which could act as catalysts for the fire to get worse. “Our primary aim was to contain the blaze within the collapsed structure so that it does not spread to the residential areas around the factory. Several teams are working non-stop. The building had no fire safety measures,” said fire chief G C Mishra.
Earlier this year, 17 persons died in a fire at a firecracker storage factory in outer Delhi’s Bawana, Last month in Kohat Enclave, a fire on the ground floor of a building killed a couple and their two minor children.
Earlier this month, in west Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar, two children died in a fire in their building.