Officials attribute it to electric short-circuit
Building's fire alarm system not operationalLoss estimated at Rs. 2 lakhsOffice work on the floor to resume today
VISAKHAPATNAM: A fire on the third floor of the LIC building on e Jail Road early Tuesday damaged furniture, computers and some records. Smoke emanated from the floor after 6 a.m. and the watchman informed the fire service. Two fire tenders and a 15-member team that reached the building found the entire floor full of smoke.
They began dousing it and it took them 40 minutes to reach the source of fire and extinguish it. There were, however, no flames. The fire was caused by an electric short circuit, officials said.
Not enough oxygen
According to officials , the fire must have been smouldering for at least 40 minutes as the fire personnel reached around 6.25 a.m. However, the fire remained smouldering, slowly burning papers and melting the fibre material around. As doors and windows were closed, there was not enough oxygen to fuel flames and its spread to other parts of the building thus preventing a major fire. Though the 10-storeyed building, the tallest in the city, has a fire alarm it was not operational, it was learnt.
District fire officer P.V. Ramana, additional district fire officer Srihari Rao and station fire officer K. Surendranath rushed to the building.
No major loss
According to LIC senior divisional manager N. Prabhakar Rao, the watchman sprayed a dry, anti-fire dousing powder at the main door of the floor, switched off power and informed the fire personnel. He said some routine correspondence, two, three computers and printers and some furniture were burnt.
The walls were blackened with soot because of the smoke. The loss was estimated at Rs. 2 lakh. The server in the floor housing the pension and group annuities wing was intact and the computer systems had a perfect backup, he said, referring to apprehensions over the safety of records. Office work on the floor would resume by Wednesday, he added.