No casualties reported in 4-storey building

A major fire broke out in a warehouse in the Metiaburuz area on the city’s western fringes, in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district early on Tuesday. There were no casualties.

The four-storey building, which houses a garment godown on its third and fourth floors, was engulfed in flames at around 6 a.m.

Thick smoke was billowing out of the building and cracks started appearing raising fears of a building collapse.

At least 15 fire engines rushed to the spot to douse the flame, a senior official of the West Bengal Fire and Emergency services told The Hindu.

Silk fabrics delayfire control

Additional Director General of West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya said that the fire could be brought under control after several hours. He, however, said that as the garment godown in the third and fourth floors had silk fabrics stored in them, the fire was taking time to be extinguished completely.

As for the fire safety arrangements in the building, which had stocked inflammable material, Mr. Bhattacharya said that there were no fire safety arrangements in the building whatsoever.

“There is absolutely no precautionary arrangements like sprinklers in the building,” he added. There has been no casualty in the incident, said Mr. Bhattacharya.

Reason not known

The reason for the fire has not been found yet, he said adding “ it can only be established after a through investigation.”

There have been several incidents of fire in the State in the last three years.

In February, more than 20 people died when a fire broke out in a multi-storey market complex in the city. In that fire, 12 people were critically injured.

In December 2011, more than 90 people died in a massive fire in the seven-storey building of the Advanced Medical Research Institute Hospitals at Dhakuria.

These incidents had triggered government action on preventive measures as statutory requirements. However, it is obvious that little has changed.