A fire erupted at the Riaz Bottlers godown (where Pepsi Cola is bottled) on Gurumangat Road in the Ghalib Market area on Sunday.
According to Rescue officials there were no casualties and staffers present (about 100) raced out in time.
The fire started in the section where chemicals and plastic items were stored. It engulfed a large portion of the factory within 20 minutes and brought the City Fire Brigade and Rescue 1122 fire fighters to put it out. A large crowd of onlookers also reached the spot. The fire was brought under control in an hour. The plant remained safe from the fire.
District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal monitored the fire extinguishing operation. Speaking with the media, Mengal said the fire was controlled within half an hour but it took more than an hour to cool the site. He said no one was hurt. The fire, he said, did not reach the main plant of the factory because of the efforts of the fire fighters. He added that it was premature to speculate on the cause of the fire.
A fire fighter told The Express Tribune that once informed about the fire, they told officials of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) to disconnect power to the building. He said the Lesco officials did so. He said they used their own vehicles and the water tankers of the Water and Sanitation Authority. He said this was the reason the fire was controlled quickly and a large portion of the building was saved.
Dr Ahmed Raza, in-charge of fire fighting operation, said that fire fighting vehicles would monitor the site as fire could erupt again from the smoldering debris.
He said the materials stored in the godown would take some hours to cool down. He said the fire had caused cracks in the building and the fire fighters had to keep that in mind.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2013.