Three major incidents of fire including in a slum at Garden Reach took place in the state on Wednesday.
More than 900 shanties were gutted in the fire that broke out in a slum at Paharpur in Garden Reach on Wednesday afternoon. Twelve fire tenders were pressed into service and fire fighters took around four hours to douse the flames.
Around 2 pm residents of the slum found smoke billowing of a shanty. People started running out of their shanties hearing everyone shouting that a fire broke out. The fire spread fast as the bamboo structures of the shanties were attach to each other and the shanties were packed with inflammable materials. The shanties were engulfed in the fire before the residents had managed to bring valuables out. Local people initiated the rescues work and later the officers of the state fire and emergency services department joined the work to douse the flames. Initially seven fire tenders were pressed into service. Later five more tenders were sent when the fire fighters found the flames were threatening to spread further. Water was also pumped in from a water body in the area to douse the flames. The fire fighters are yet to ascertain the exact reason behind the fire, but suspect that the fire broke out following an explosion of a cooking stove when the resident of the house left with something cooking on it. Police had cordoned off the area and traffic on the adjacent roads was diverted through another thoroughfare. Senior officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation went to the spot and assured all help to the homeless people. Tarpaulins have been distributed among the homeless people and arrangements of food have been made for them. In another incident of fire, a major portion of a unit of Fort William Jute Mill at Shibpur in Howrah was damaged on Wednesday morning. Ten fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. Fire fighters suspect that electric short circuit led to the incident of fire. Workers noticed smoke billowing out of a godown in the unit of the jute mill and informed the fire department.
The workers and security personnel of the mill initiated the rescue work. The fire fighters reached within a few minutes and extinguished the flames within a few hours. The total extent of damage is yet to be ascertained. In Darjeeling early on Wednesday morning, a fire broke out in a shop at Darga bazaar. The fire spread and damaged three more shops and two godown. Six fire tenders from Bijonbari fire station were pressed into service and fire fighters took around 4 hours to extinguish the fire. Panic broke out due to the fire as the incident took place in a congested area.