Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: What could easily have been a major disaster ended without any loss of life, thanks to swift action and systematic evacuation when fire broke out at Rainbow Hotel in Red Hills on Thursday midnight.

The fire which began in the storeroom on the ground floor did not spread to other floors, but thick plumes of smoke engulfed the three floors choking the 30 odd people who checked into lodging. It was a chaotic condition, as the guests ran from groundfloor to third floor and began screaming for help.

One of the occupants, Ganesh, who jumped from the third floor in panic got injured and was shifted to a hospital later. He hailed from Chennai.

Firemen, who rushed to the hotel near Niloufer Hospital, were quick to pacify the panic-stricken occupants of the building. Asking the occupants not to panic, they broke open the windowpanes to allow the smoke to dissipate and later rescued the occupants with the help of ladders.

Well handled

“Generally during fire accidents, people die of suffocation due to smoke or because of a stampede. The situation was handled well and a major tragedy was averted yesterday night,” said Gowliguda Fire Officer K. Vijay Kumar. He said firemen checked all the 32 rooms thoroughly after completion of fire-fighting operation.

“Our inquiries revealed that sparks emanated from an electrical panel installed in the storeroom could be the reason for the incident. Moreover, soiled bedsheets which were kept in the room too caught fire further compounding the situation,” he explained.

The incident occurred when guests were fast asleep. It was Ganesh, who noticed smoke and raised an alarm. When contacted, hotel partner Basith described Thursday’s fire as a “minor” incident.