Up to 10 firefighters tackled a blaze which partly destroyed a primary school at Titagarh in North 24 Parganas. The students managed a timely escape, when they heard the cracking sound of explosion from the kitchen of the building, where mid day meal is cooked.
Dense, acrid smoke was seen from miles out as three fire engines were sent to Titagarh Free Primary School on GC Road.
The fire is believed to have started in a small space in the kitchen where the LPG cylinder was placed. Around 8 am on Thursday the fire quickly spread through large parts of the school.
The locals after hearing the sound of blast called up the fire brigade as they rushed to the spot within some 10 minutes.
Other locals were told by fire brigade teams to keep their windows shut and stay indoors as black smoke billowed from the building. An investigation has been launched to probe into the cause of the blaze.
“We are ruling nothing out but at this stage there is nothing to suggest that it was arson. A team from police and fire brigade will investigate the reason of fire. Primarily we can say that the cylinder exploded,” said a top fire brigade officer who was inspecting the work at the spot.
Some parts of the school escaped unscathed but a massive effort will now be made as schoolchildren are due to return to classes on Friday.
“Some rooms were damaged. We have informed the matter to district administration,” said a local resident. The district primary school department said it would be making arrangements for students and teachers so that the study would not be disrupted. No such injuries were reported among the students, public and firefighters.