A fire broke out in a plastic factory in Howrah’s Liluah early on Friday and spread to an adjacent hosiery goods unit before firemen could reach the spot.
The blaze raged for more than four hours, reducing both addresses to ashes.
Four persons — a fireman and three workers — were injured and taken to TL Jaiswal Hospital.
Police said residents spotted smoke billowing out of Bharat Plastic, at 1 Hyde Road, around 5.15am. Within seconds, the blaze spread to Calcutta Coating.
Firemen said both factories were stashed with inflammable materials and lacked fire-safety measures.
“Neither unit had an extinguisher, the most basic fire-fighting tool. I asked the owners for fire licences but they couldn’t produce any. If they fail to produce the papers by Monday, we will lodge complaints against them,” said Bivas Guha, the deputy director in the state fire and emergency services department.
A probe suggested that a short-circuit had triggered the fire. “There could have been a disaster had the fire broken out during working hours,” said a fire department official.
Mishap: A 15-year-old motorcyclist speaking into his cellphone and two other teenagers, who were riding pillion, were injured when a Matador hit the two-wheeler from behind on Taratala Road on Friday afternoon. The trio, all residents of Behala Parnasree, have been admitted to SSKM Hospital. The Matador driver has been arrested. “The biker, too, was at fault. At 15, he does not have a driving licence. He was also talking into his phone,” said an officer.
Zoo fee: The entry fee at the Alipore zoo will be increased from Rs 20 to Rs 30 for adults from December 1.