Four employees of a shoe manufacturing company at Baralighat near Bhangar in South 24 Parganas were injured when a fire broke out in its two-storey showroom cum godown on Tuesday evening.
Mayor and the state fire minister, Sovan Chatterjee visited the spot and supervised the work to ensure that the fire did not spread much.
“Eight fire tenders were pressed into service and firefighters have managed to rescue the employees, who were inside the godown when the fire broke out.
Firefighters faced a bit of a problem in reaching the spot as the road leading to the spot from the adjacent Basanti Highway was narrow,” he said.
An officer of the state fire and emergency services department said that the showroom cum godown is situated just adjacent to the factory of the same shoe manufacturing company.
The showroom was supposed to open before the Puja and employees were dumping shoes from the factory to the godown.
There were around 15 people working inside the godown when the fire broke out. Though most had managed to flee, four got trapped as the fire spread fast.
The employees heard a loud sound and the fire engulfed a major portion of the building before they could have understood the reason behind the noise.
Fire spread to the entrance of the godown and four of the employees were yet to come out and they were trapped.
Despite trying a lot, local people couldn’t enter the building to rescue them. The fire broke out at around 4.15 pm and firefighters reached the spot within 20 minutes.
The fire fighters rescued the four employees and took them to a local hospital in Bhangar. Doctors stated condition of two persons to be critical with more than 30 per cent burn injuries.
Both the heavily injured persons – Chandi Pramanik and Sahanaj Khatun - were later shifted to Chittaranjan Medical College and Hospital.
Initially two fire tenders were pressed into service with six more pressed later after finding that the flames were threatening to spread. The area was filled with smoke and it led to panic among people.
Though the exact reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, firefighters suspect that electric short circuit might have led to the incident. The total extent of damage is yet to be ascertained, but the 6000 square feet two-storey building was badly damaged in the fire.
The incident led to massive traffic congestion on Basanti Highway.