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Updated: July 5, 2014 08:10 IST

Fire in jewellery store: brushing away injuries, firemen back on duty

Tanu Kulkarni
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Nagaraju, a fireman got injured while on duty, being treated at a hospital in Bangalore on Friday.
TH Nagaraju, a fireman got injured while on duty, being treated at a hospital in Bangalore on Friday.

A day after battling to douse the inferno at the Navrathan Jewellers store on Thursday, four out of the six firemen reported for work on Friday morning despite injuries showing that the fire within them was in no way watered down.

A day after battling to douse the inferno at the Navrathan Jewellers store on Thursday, four out of the six firemen reported for work on Friday morning despite injuries showing that the fire within them was in no way watered down.

Manjunath B.M. was suffering from several bruises on his hand after the intense four-hour operation on Thursday. But that did not hinder him from reporting to work at 6:45 am on Friday. Just as he was recounting to colleagues the challenging task of breaking a bullet-proof window and fighting flames in a building that offered very little ventilation, he was called upon to attend to a fire emergency. Coincidentally, he had to rush back to the same spot and douse smoke that was still emitting from the building.

Manjunath, a B.Com graduate, said, “Small injuries are part and parcel of our job. We have to be on our toes to help people who are in distress.”

Asked to recollect similar challenging instances where saving lives was involved, his instant reaction was, “We do not work for publicity. We have to do justice to our work. Several times, although the people we rescue thank us profusely, we do not talk to them. Our first job is to ensure that they are quickly taken to the ambulance and our job ends there,” he said. Another fireman M. Shivaswamy (49) said that he got accustomed to tough working conditions in his 27-year tenure. “But Thursday was challenging. Bricks fell on my right foot. Although I came back to work on Friday morning, I was tired during the parade and took rest for 15 minutes. I have never taken rest all my life. This is the first time that I sat down on duty,” he said.

Meanwhile, two of the six injured firemen are on leave nursing their wounds. Sitting on a bed in a private hospital, Nagaraju (44) showed his index finger that was cut and required surgery. “Several times, my wife and children are worried about my job as it involves a lot of risk. But my job gives me immense satisfaction. Although my children are worried, they tell their friends that I am their hero,” he said.

J.H. Ravi Shankar, Regional Fire Officer (Bangalore East Range), said that all the injured firemen would be treated under the Arogya Bhagya Scheme and would also get ex-gratia amount based on the gravity of the injury.

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