Shopowners on Sunday protested against the TMA Shorkot and fire brigade staff after a general store in the Usmania Market was destroyed in a fire.
They accused fire brigade staff of not responding promptly. Shopowner Mohammad Tahir told The Express Tribune that his general store caught fire due to a short circuit. He said neighbouring shopkeepers informed the TMA office, who told them no fire fighters were available and they should ‘make alternative arrangements.’
“We also went to the fire brigade station ourselves but found no staff was present,” he said, “Except a driver and a security guard.” He said that shopkeepers themselves drove the fire engine to the site but were unable to save the building because they lacked expertise.
“I lost at least Rs700,000 in the fire,” Tahir said. Fire engine driver Mohammad Iqbal told The Express Tribune that the 7-man fire crew was on holiday since it was Sunday. He said that only a security guard had joined him on duty.
“We filled up the fire engine with water and drove it there. But we are not trained fire fighters,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.