A major fire broke out at a chemical storehouse at Gnanavel Colony First Street near Mariamman Teppakulam here on Monday night.

An eyewitness said the fire broke out around 8 p.m. on the ground floor of the building, where chemicals used to manufacture soaps and detergents were stored. The flames soon spread to the first floor, damaging the electric wires on the pole adjacent to the building, triggering panic in the residential area.

Alerted by the local people, police rushed to the spot and called fire tenders. Four fire tenders from Anupanadi, Periyar bus stand and Tallakulam arrived at the spot and put out the fire in an hour, said Ramani, Inspector of Police, Teppakulam. “The high compound wall around the storehouse prevented the fire from spreading to other places,” he added.

According to the police, the storehouse belongs to Muthu Agency, owned by Sathyamurthy and Ramamurthy. “The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, and investigation is on,” Mr.Ramani said.

Corporation officials and local councillor of Ward 54 M. Saravanan also reached the spot and conducted enquiries.

However, the damage could not be assessed immediately as power was suspended in the area following the incident.