A fire broke out in a three-storey factory building in Raja Bazaar’s Dingi Kohi Market on Sunday, reducing most of the goods to ashes.
Ganjmandi Police Station Assistant Sub-Inspector Qaiser told The Express Tribune that the fire erupted due to “short circuiting in the Haji Daal Mill in Madina Market, but thankfully no one was injured”.
He said the fire was so massive that it engulfed the second and third floors. “Huge flames started to billow from the building within minutes, making it impossible for workers to shift sacks of pulses outside the building,” said the official.
He said that Rescue 1122 reached the site within 10 minutes, but the fire was so intense that it took them several hours to control it. Mill workers had vacated the building immediately after the fire broke out.
Hamid, a volunteer present at the site, blamed a gas leak for the fire, saying that it was caused by workers using gas cylinders to cook their food.
He said surrounding shopkeepers tried to shift some sacks away, but they could not approach the building due to the intense heat and smoke.
Initially, four fire trucks reached the site, but they were unable to control the inferno. Another eight vehicles were called in before the flames finally went down.
Rescue officials remained busy for five hours after extinguishing the fire as they had to wait for the building structure to cool down before moving in to assess the damage.
“There is possibility that the fire could reignite due to the sacks and wooden items inside the building,” said Waqas, a rescue official.
He said all the goods, including generators, sacks of pulses, machinery and furniture, present inside the building have been completely destroyed.
The owner of the mill could not be reached, but a police official said the total loss suffered was around Rs6 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2013.