A major portion of an edible oil factory at Chanditala in Hooghly was damaged in fire which broke out on Monday morning, police said.
Ten fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. Firefighters took more than five hours to bring the situation under control.
On Monday morning local residents saw smoke billowing out from the window of the factory. The fire spread rapidly as the godowns were packed with inflammable materials. When the firefighters reached to the spot a major portion of the factory was already damaged in fire. The adjacent factories were evacuated as the fire was spreading repidly.
Initially, four fire tenders were engaged in the operation. Later, six more reached the spot after the situation deteriorated.
There was no one in the factory as all the workers returned home on Sunday. Initially, the local people failed to say whether there was anyone present in the factory. However, the fire fighters had fought desperately to douse the flames. After around five hours they had managed to enter the factory and searched whether anyone was present inside.
A probe in this connection has been initiated, but the exact reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained.
The incident has led to a huge loss of several employees. At present, no one can say how long it would take to bring back the factory in its usual state.
It may be mentioned that there was an incident of fire in the same factory on December 16. At that time, local people and fire fighters had managed to douse the flames. However, the local people suspect some sort of conspiracy behind the repeated incidents of fire in the factory and they urged police to conduct a probe.