Pindi witnesses 60 fire incidents in seven months

Lack of equipment, ignoring fire safety rules to blame for inferno


Imran Asghar August 16, 2021
Rescue 1122. PHOTO: ONLINE

RAWALPINDI:

At least 60 major fire incidents were reported in Rawalpindi in the last seven months in which five people were killed and over 20 were injured.

In these fire incidents, traders and citizens suffered a loss of billions of rupees. The Civil Defence Agency (CDA) which is entrusted with the task to take measures to prevent fires has been not good enough in carrying out its job.

Several factories including two warehouses were destroyed in fire incidents while Urdu Bazaar was completely ruined in one such incident of fire.

Officials said that the fire department of Rescue 1122 is under severe pressure due to the increase in the number of fire incidents.

In addition, fire tenders have also become obsolete. According to the data collected by The Express Tribune from rescue sources, big fires were reported in the last seven months in Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, Industrial Estate, Adiala Road, Urdu Bazaar, Bohar Bazaar, Murree Road Commercial Center, Petrol Pumps and warehouses in different localities.

Read Factory fire put out after 21 hours

Rescue sources said the major cause of fire in all commercial plazas, factories, and warehouses was short circuit while the main reason for the rapid spread of the fire was the lack of a safety system in these areas.

The source said the fire in Urdu Bazaar was the biggest in Rawalpindi’s history, and it wiped out the entire market and the traders incurred a loss of crores of rupees. This fire was also caused by shortcircuit, and there were no fire extinguishers in the entire bazaar.

The officials said the fire incidents had increased because of encroachments and entangled power lines in densely populated old markets of the city.

The CDA has repeatedly requested the management of commercial buildings to ensure the installation of fire safety systems in their respective establishments but to no avail.

Rescue sources said that two factories were also destroyed in the fire. More than 200 labourers who worked in these factories became unemployed due to the incident.

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