RAWALPINDI: A fire broke out at a blanket factory in Khayaban-e-Sir Syed in Rawalpindi on Sunday, causing an estimated loss of about Rs3 million.
The factory, owned by Sheikh Amjad, was set up at the basement of Cheema Plaza, a three-storey building.
Though the exact cause of the fire could not be determined, Rescue 1122 officials believed that short-circuiting could have triggered it.
Furniture, electronic goods, blankets, machinery and other items had already been reduced to ash and rubble by the time fire tenders arrived to extinguish the blaze.
The fire was controlled before it engulfed the whole building. Locals also participated in the operation by helping rescue factory workers.
Rescue 1122 Media Coordinator Ihsan told The Express Tribune said it took over an hour for the 23 officials and seven firefighting vehicles involved in the operation to control the blaze.
He confirmed that no injuries or casualties were reported from the incident.
Sajjad, a factory worker, said that the entire hall was filled with smoke, adding that the fire had engulfed the factory within minutes of erupting. “We managed to vacate the factory immediately after seeing the smoke,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amjad alleged that the firefighters only arrived at the scene after the fire had destroyed everything. “The factory could have been saved had the firefighters responded in time,” he said.
A Rescue 1122 official involved in the operation said that they reached the site within 10 minutes of being informed of the fire.
He added that Amjad had not adhered to the prescribed safety precautions, noting there was not a single fire extinguisher in the factory.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.