‘It will take more than 24 hours to put out the fire’

Fire broke out at the Coimbatore Corporation’s dump yard in Vellalore on Saturday evening. According to Corporation sources, the spark started at the pre-processing rejects that were kept ready for landfill.

The fire soon spread to the entire rejects, said to be more than 50,000 tonnes, and engulfed the entire area. This resulted in smoke billowing and spreading to residential localities in Vellalore, Kurichi and other areas.

Residents of Konavaikalpalayam were staging a road roko at the time of filing the report. Smoke, ash and flying small objects with fire invaded the homes, forcing the residents to come out. And power cut added to their woes, said K.S. Mohan, secretary, Kurichi-Vellalore Pollution Prevention Action Committee.

He said that the fire was unprecedented as the flames soared nearly 100 feet into the sky.

This forced Coimbatore Corporation to seek the assistance of the Fire and Rescue Services Department for fire tenders. Sources in the department said that four tenders from Coimbatore South and Kavundampalayam were pressed into service. Two more were on their way.

The Corporation had also deployed nine water tankers, which were making repeated trips after drawing water from an open well in the Vellalore yard. The sources said that power cut also affected the fire-fighting operations as the motor that pumped water from the well went without power.

The sources said that it would take the Corporation and the department more than 24 hours to put out the fire. The residents, meanwhile, demanded that Mayor arrive at the spot. The police were having a tough time pacifying the agitated crowd.

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