A day after the fire in the cold storage that destroyed hundreds of tonnes of agricultural produce, the fact that fire safety norms were not followed has come to the fore.

“It is mandatory to adhere to the fire safety norms and obtain no-objection certificate from the Fire and Emergency Services Department. But that was not done,” said I.F. Badabade, Chief Fire Officer, Hubli, who oversaw the fire-fighting operation, told The Hindu. According to him, buildings above 15 metres should adhere to all fire safety norms.

Mr. Badabade said the building was over 15-metres tall and had only one entry/exit point. Fire tenders could operate only from two sides. The tenders could not go to the other two sides as the building was located in a corner with a compound wall constructed adjacent to it.

“We were forced to demolish the walls to douse the flames. We had to fight for over 12 hours to bring the fire under control,” he said.

Enquiries revealed that there are around 18 cold storages that have not obtained NOCs from the department.

Mr. Badabade said he would instruct the Regional Fire Officer here to issue notice to the owners of these cold storages and godowns and inspect them to find out if they had adhered to fire safety norms. Action would be taken if it was found that norms had been flouted, he added.

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