It was also a Friday on October 29, 2010, when a fire broke out on the third floor of Baker Building where chemicals and gas cylinders were stored and there was a danger of the blaze spreading. On this Friday – the fire broke out at the central library of Presidency University, home to more than 3.73 lakh books and 1.5 lakh periodicals which have been collected over a century.
Smoke swelled out from the librarian’s room at around 1.30 pm. Within minutes, it engulfed much of the campus, forcing teachers and students out of their classes. The cause of the fire, as the fire brigade explained was some kind of electrical failure from the air conditioning machine.
“The library was full of books, journals and computer CPUs and bunch of cables and wirings. It was an electrical fire, as the firefighters were essentially equipped to combat it. Five fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” said a fire brigade officer on duty.
The Baker building of Presidency University, earlier Presidency College, was named after Edward Norman Baker, the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, and was formally opened in 1913, is now well protected with all the fire fighting facilities.
On the contrary, the building, where central library is situated, is newly constituted. But the university authority is yet to install any sophisticated fire fighting facilities.
“The installation of smart fire safety is in our agenda for the central library, it is happened soon,” said register of the university, Debajyoti Konar.
However, Konar seemed satisfied with the efforts of local fire safety measures – cease fire units – which he felt have done extremely good work to douse the flame, along with the fire brigade.
Meanwhile, the fire fighters moved the precious, historically important documents and book from the library. The fire extinguishers were used and thrown out of the building.
“A major fire could be taken place, but fortunately it was averted,” said the fire brigade officer.
One student was injured while trying to escape a fire which broke out inside the server room of Presidency University library, police said.
The student suffered minor injuries when he along with others fell down while trying to flee fearing the blaze was a massive fire, the officer said.