KARACHI: A fire broke out in a 19-storey high-rise commercial building on II Chundrigar Road Friday night.
The flames were doused by firefighters after hectic efforts of at least 12 hours.
The flames, which erupted at the 16th floor of Saima Towers at 5am, quickly engulfed the 17th, 18th and 19th floors of the building as well. Initially, four fire tenders with two water bowsers and a snorkel were rushed to the site, followed by more water bowsers and snorkels from across the city. The area police also reached the site.
“The firefighters tried their level best [to put out the flames],” said the fire brigade spokesperson, adding that the offices of the various companies in the building were also evacuated.
No loss of life was reported, said the spokesperson. However, nearly half a dozen people were trapped on the rooftop of the building, who were later safely rescued by the firefighters.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, the firefighters suspected the fire broke out due to a short circuit.
Firefighters said they faced problems in extinguishing the flames due to a lack of availability of equipment. “There was lot of difficulty in controlling the fire as the fire was on the 16th floor while the snorkel could only reach up to the 13th floor. We had to make custom arrangements to reach the spot,” a firefighter explained.
Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar visited the site and criticised the Sindh government for ‘doing nothing for institutions during the last eight years’. According to him, several buildings have been built in the metropolis but fire equipment has not been made available to them. Akhtar highlighted there was no fire exit in the affected building. The provincial authorities should be ashamed of themselves on such a dismal state of affairs, he said.
On Tuesday, tyres worth millions of rupees were burnt to ashes when a fire broke out at a godown on Hawke’s Bay Road near PAF Base Masroor.