Inferno at godown, 22 fire engines deployed; no casualty reported

Inferno at godown, 22 fire engines deployed; no casualty reported

Kolkata: A devastating fire gutted a warehouse on the land of Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (SMP) erstwhile Kolkata Port Trust on Taratala Road.

The fire that broke out at 10 am in the morning was brought under control by deploying 22 fire tenders with the operation lasting for more than eight hours. There was no report of any injury in the fire incident.

The godown was stacked with inflammable articles that included spare parts of air conditioners and electronic goods which resulted in the spread of fire. "Though there was no injury or loss of lives but the quantum of damage has been huge which could have been avoided if the basic fire fighting system functioned when the fire broke out," a senior official of the Fire department said.

State Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose who visited the spot hit out at the authorities of SMP alleging that they have been negligent in keeping an eye on whether the godowns that they have given on rent are maintaining basic fire safety measures.

"Earlier when there was a big fire at a godown of SMP on Strand Road in June 2019, we have told them that they should keep an eye on the maintenance of the various godowns that they have leased out. But, I doubt whether they have done that," Bose added.

The minister ordered a detailed probe to ascertain the cause of fire.

"We will conduct a forensic enquiry and once we know the cause of fire, we will serve notice on the godown owner and if we find lacunae on his part, action will be taken as per legal provisions," he stated.

He pointed out that there was no water source and the fire officials had to use water from the waterbody at Nature Park and a good number of browsers for extinguishing the fire. The godown, measuring 3619 sq metre at Brooklyn area was allotted on license basis.

"It has been notified that in all plates/structures/godowns premises leased or licensed, security and fire safety measures shall be the responsibility of lessee/licensee. In case of any damage to the Trustees' property or neighbouring property due to not maintaining the required fire safety and security measures, the lessee/licensee will be responsible and will have to bear all costs and consequences thereof," a senior SMP official said.

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