Two rooms of Fertilisers Accounts Department gutted

Two rooms of a government office were completely gutted in a fire that broke out at Janpath Bhavan here on Tuesday morning.

The fire originated inside the office of the Fertilisers Accounts Department built on the building’s A Wing on the seventh floor. It soon spread to other parts of the offices engulfing the nearby rooms.

The fire department was informed by a Central Industrial Security Force personnel who saw smoke coming out of the building around 8-40 a.m. However, by then, the fire had spread to other parts of the office.

While the ground floor of the eight-storey-building has several shops, all the floors above it house government offices including the office of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and that of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

An employee of the Fertilisers Accounts Department said no one was present inside the office at the time of the incident as the office, like most other offices located in Janpath Bhavan, opens around 9 a.m.

“The office was closed and the keys were with me. When I reached the office this morning at my usual reporting time, I saw flames in and around it. The firemen, who entered the office by breaking the windows, were trying to put out the fire,” said the employee.

Sixteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the operation lasted for a little over two hours, said a fire department official. The firemen managed to restrict the fire to the office and it did not spread to other wings of the building.

While no casualties were reported, several documents and electronic servers kept inside the room besides parts of the decorative fall ceiling were damaged as the fire spread to the corridors as well.

The likely cause of the fire was short circuit and some lifts of the building stopped working due to the damage caused by the fire.

Shopkeepers said had the fire taken place at any other time of the day, the results would have been catastrophic due to several factors.

“A large number of people visit to the building daily and it is located next to the bustling market which also receives a lot of footfall. All these factors, combined with the fact that a lot of cars are parked in a haphazard manner in the building premises despite of proper parking space being allocated, would make it very difficult for a fire tender to reach close to the building,” said a shopkeeper.

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