A major fire broke out inside a large warehouse storing chemicals, electronic goods and other imported items at Ponniammanmedu, Madhavaram, on Thursday morning. No one was injured.
There was no fire safety equipment in place at the warehouse, according to Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service (TNFRS) officials.
They said that the fire broke out around 9.30 a.m. in godown No.9 of the 15-acre warehouse on GNT Road that has a total of 16 godowns. Water and foam tenders from nearby fire stations were rushed to the spot.
The neighbourhood was covered with thick, black smoke, which could be seen even from a few kilometres away. People residing in the vicinity of the warehouse were evacuated within 30 minutes of the incident being reported.
TNFRS Deputy Director S. Vijayasekar, who supervised the fire fighting operations, said that the fire started in a godown inside which sodium carbonate, rubber products and kitchen items were stocked.
“The facility was charred completely. The fire spread to two adjacent godowns, where hydrogen peroxide, chemicals and solvents were stored. Our team managed to save the two godowns partially and prevented the fire from spreading further,” he said. Three TNFRS foam tenders and one from Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) were deployed besides 13 water tenders and 21 water lorries to fight the blaze. It took 80 firemen four hours to extinguish the flames.
According to Mr. Vijayasekar, the lack of necessary fire safety equipment in the warehouse proved tough for the firemen.
Around 6 p.m. a minor fire was reported again from the warehouse. It was noticed in the rubble and a team was pressed into action to put it out, sources said.