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Fire breaks out at leather goods factory, no casualties reported

Kolkata: A fire broke out at a leather goods manufacturing unit at Chowbaga area at E M Bypass on Friday morning. So far, no casualties or injuries have been reported.
Eight fire engines were sent to douse the flames. At around 9.45 am, locals noticed smoke billowing out from the manufacturing unit. The incident triggered panic and some residents in the adjacent building fled as the blaze soon began to engulf the area.
The fire initially broke out at the unit's godown and later spread to other parts. Those who were working at the unit were also made to evacuate. The area was covered in thick smoke and it affected the locals from providing any kind of assistance. After receiving information, the police and fire officials rushed to the spot. The police evacuated the entire area while the fire fighters tried to contain the fire.
Locals said the fire had spread throughout the area before the fire tenders reached the spot. Fire fighters initially faced problems to detect the source as rooms in the unit were engulfed in smoke. The whole area was cordoned off. The fire fighters put out the flames after nearly three hours.
Following the incident, some of the residents staged a demonstration in the area, accusing the factory of operating without a fire clearance. Some of the newsmen who went to the spot were harassed by locals. They alleged that the leather unit used to function illegally but no action had been taken.
According to preliminary investigation, the fire officials suspect that an electrical short circuit could be the cause of the fire. It was suggested that the situation had further aggravated as a huge amount of inflammable materials were stored inside the unit.
The police and fire officials started a detailed probe to deduce the cause. The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained. A senior fire department official said steps would be taken against the owners of the manufacturing unit if any lapses are found in the course of the investigation. They were also probing if the unit had a fire clearance.
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