Berhampur, June 6: A midnight fire in Aska Road first gate area gutted a garage, a sawmill, three buses, two trucks and woods worth lakhs of rupees yesterday.
“Three fire tenders were deployed and it took almost eight hours for 16 fire personnel to extinguish the fire. The fire broke out at 1am. But, we rushed after receiving a call at 3.15am,” said deputy fire officer M. Jagga Rao.
He added that the fire department suspected that short-circuit had sparked the flames.
Another source said that the garage and the adjoining sawmill caught fire after a three-phase electric pole on its premises fell to the ground resulting in a short-circuit.
Silla Damodar Rao, owner of Silla Sawmill, said sized woods worth about Rs 20 lakh were stored on its premises. “The 1970-sawmill was closed for the last 12 years because of restrictions imposed on it by the government,” Damodar said.
A few years ago, the sawmill owner allowed K. Nageswar Rao to open a garage on one side of it on a monthly rental basis.
Owner of Ambica garage K. Nageswar Rao said two private buses and a college bus of Pharmaceutical College, Mahuda, were gutted in the fire.
The damage is so devastating that the gutted buses are beyond repair.
“We were also repairing a sleeper coach bus after removing its sleeper seats, ceiling, lights and other accessories. All these things, which were kept in the garage, have been gutted. A bus engine was repaired for Rs 80,000 and another was undergoing repair. Both the engines have been completely damaged,” Nageswar said.
Two trucks parked in front of the sawmill for repairing were also damaged badly.
The fire did not result in any of loss of lives as nobody was present in the garage when the fire broke out. The fire was so fierce that it also burnt a nearby tree.
“The flame was about 30 to 40 feet high and we could not go near the site at the initial stage,” said a fire personnel. The fire brigade used 1200-feet hosepipe to draw water from Dhobabandha to extinguish the fire.