108 calls received by fire stations on the eve of Deepavali
The Deepavali festival had passed off without any major fire accidents in southern districts, said Deputy Director (southern region, Fire and Rescue Services) M. Shahul Hameed in Madurai on Wednesday.
In all, 108 calls were received by the fire stations from the previous night of Deepavali and on November 13 (D-day) ending at around 10.30 a.m. on November 14.
The southern region comprises Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts.
The Fire and Rescue Services Department officials had conducted a series of awareness programmes among the public by taking out rallies and distributing pamphlets on the dos and don’ts while bursting crackers.
School students were involved in these programmes as they could convey the message back home to celebrate the festival safely.
The fire calls received are as follows: Madurai: 33, Theni: 8, Ramanathapuram: 13, Sivaganga: 18, Virudhunagar: 17, Tirunelveli: 8, Tuticorin: 9 and Kanyakumari received two calls.
According to Mr. Shahul Hameed, there were some injuries reported, but were later described as minor by the hospital authorities. One woman, who suffered burns, was admitted as an inpatient in Sivaganga district.
An officer in Tirunelveli district attributed the less number of fire calls in the region due to the heavy rains, which had dampened the spirit of bursting crackers.
The dry spell in Madurai, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar and a few other towns had kept the fire men on an alert. Wherever there were cases of fire calls on the D-day, the personnel contained the fire locally and also ensured it did not spread.
The officers described two calls, out of the 33, received on the Deepavali day in Madurai city as “major”. According to them, the damage was ‘extensive’ in a fire in a private fertiliser godown in Sellur and in a waste paper godown on the 60-feet road. The reason for the accident and the loss are under investigation.
Preliminary inquiries suggested that some aerial display fireworks may have caused the damage, when it fell on the thatched roof. Luckily, the LPG refills stocked in the vicinity were swiftly removed to safe place as the heat may have resulted in bursting of the cylinders, an officer who supervised the operation said.
The fire was put out in about three to four hours. Fire tenders from Tallakulam, Periyar, Anupanadi and other stations were pressed. Water tankers from private and police departments were also used in the operation.