Fourteen fire tenders fought overnight to bring under control a fire that broke out at a candle-making factory at Baikampady Industrial Area on Thursday. There were no casualties, said H.S. Varadarajan, Chief Fire Officer, Mangalore Region. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he said.

V.K. Talithaya, president, Primacy Industries, an export-oriented unit, where the fire broke out told The Hindu on Friday: “The fire was first noticed at 11.05 p.m. by a security guard and the factory manager told me at 11.20 p.m.” The first fire tender reached at 11.55 p.m., which was understandable given the distance from the city and the condition of the roads in Baikampady.

Fire tenders from Managlore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL), New Managlore Port Trust (NMPT) and Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers (MCF) had come to the site as well, he said.

About the workers, he said, “I have no doubt that they will come back.”

He said that the company would restart once they were able to ascertain the strength of the structure, which would happen after four days. The damage to the building, machinery, equipment, and raw material was estimated at Rs. 50 crore, he said. The building was insured, he said.

Mr. Varadarajan told The Hindu on Friday, “The fire is under control. We are working to extinguish it completely”.

He said that 14 fire tenders and 60 to 65 firemen were sent to the site. Of the fire tenders, five to six were from Mangalore and the rest were from Udupi, Karkala, Moodbidri, Puttur and Bantwal.

Mr. Varadarajan said that despite using foam, the fire was reigniting and continuing.

“It is still burning”, he told The Hindu at 4 p.m. on Friday. The aim of the fire-fighting team was to contain the flames, especially from spreading to the adjacent factory that houses ammonia in cold storage and another one, which is a fish factory.

About the cause of the fire, he said: “We have to find out”. He said a short circuit was “not possible. How can it be? Not at all possible”, he said.

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