It took over 12 hours to bring the flames under control

Several hundred tonnes of agricultural produce, including Bengal gram, coriander seeds, tamarind, chillies, and jowar, were destroyed in a fire at a cold storage on the outskirts of the city on Sunday.

Six fire tenders were pressed into service. It took Fire and Emergency Services personnel over 12 hours to bring the flames under control. The fire was reportedly caused by a short-circuit. Preliminary estimates put the loss at over Rs. 2 crore.

The fire was first noticed on the fifth floor of the building.

“As the prices crashed during the last two years, I kept the produce in the cold storage waiting for a good price. This year, the prices have gone up but my luck is such that the produce is gutted,” a distraught Basavanagouda told The Hindu.

He rushed from Balagudda village in Sandur taluk to Bellary on hearing about the fire.

‘NOC not obtained’

Sources in the department told The Hindu that the owner of the cold storage had not taken any precautions to prevent fire accidents and had also not obtained no objection certificate from the department.

When contacted, the owner said that as it was a cold storage the possibility of a fire accident was remote and so he did not obtain an NOC. He added that the produce had been insured.

The Bellary (Rural) police have registered a case.

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