PVC pipes stored in the open in suburban Thirumullaivoyal caught fire on Sunday morning engulfing the area in thick smoke.
It took fire fighters over three hours to put out the fire; no one was injured in the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.
Avadi fire station officials said the fire was reported around 9.30 a.m. by passers-by who spotted smoke billowing from the pile of PVC pipes on an open ground in Netaji Nagar.
Fire tenders from Avadi, Ambattur, Red Hills and Poonamallee were rushed to spot.
“The fire started spread in no time at all. Foam tenders were brought in after the water tenders could not extinguish the PVC material on fire. An earthmover was also used to retrieve some pipes from getting burnt,” said a fire officer, adding that over 50 fire fighters were involved in the operation.
A total of 12 tenders, including three foam tenders from the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi and the Indian Air Force Station in Avadi were deployed and the flames were extinguished by 1 p.m., sources added.
Speaking to The Hindu, Divisional Fire Officer (Tiruvallur region) T. Chandran said the pipes that caught fire were meant for a Metrowater project in the nearby area.
“The contractor of a private firm who was in charge of the project had recently unloaded the pipes in the open ground that belongs to the Avadi Municipality,” Mr. Chandran added.
Thirumullaivoyal police are investigating the fire following a complaint lodged by Selvam, the project site engineer. An assessment is under way to estimate the loss, police sources said.