Fire from an AC unit in one of the rooms on the upper floor the trigger. Passengers, who went to buy tickets, ran helter-skelter, thinking that the station building was on fire.
Chaos prevailed for sometime at the general booking office at the Visakhapatnam railway station at around 2.30 p.m. when thick smoke billowed out from the windows on the upper floor.
Passengers, who went to buy tickets, ran helter-skelter, thinking that the station building was on fire.
The booking counter staff were at a loss to understand what was happening and panicked on seeing the smoke.
An AC unit in room No. 114 of Heritage Hotel, operated by a private hotelier, caught fire and thick smoke emanated from it.
The split AC came off the wall and was hanging precariously in the room.
“The guest who vacated the room could have forgotten to switch off the AC, and the hotel staff could also have neglected it. The absence of occupants in the affected room as also the adjoining room has saved the day. There are guests in other rooms nearby,” said an official of the Fire Department.
Had the fire spread, the guests would have difficulty in rushing through the narrow passage to reach the ground floor.
Luckily, the fire did not spread beyond the room and was put out before long.
The thick smoke coming out from the wires and the AC unit prompted the hotel staff to alert the Fire Department.