Fire had broken out at an Amartya Abasan apartment on Tuesday but it was extinguished by neighbours before the fire brigade arrived.
Shyamaprasad Lahiri, resident of AL Block’s Amartya Abasan, was home in the evening with his son, a Class XII student, and his elder daughter. His wife had gone to the market. At around 8pm they smelt something burning. Upon checking they found that the geyser in their bathroom was on fire.
The three got scared and shut their bathroom door. They ran out to the living room and opened the door to their flat, with smoke billowing out. Neighbours, who were using the staircase and those in nearby flats who smelt the fumes, came out to see what was happening.
Soon, one of them called the police and the police informed the fire brigade. In the meantime, neighbours switched off the electric supply to the flat. One of them then opened the door of the bathroom and entered. He filled a mug with water and splashed it at the burning geyser repeatedly till the fire doused. The geyser and the walls of the bathroom were by then blackened with soot.
“We reached Amartya Abasan around 8.10pm. We had been informed about the fire by the Bidhannagar east police station,” said an official of the Sector V fire station. “By the time we reached, the fire had been put out.”
Officials from the power utility service, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company, were informed and they came to examine the power lines later. It was concluded that the fire was the result of a short circuit in the geyser.
“In case of electrical fire, it is mandatory to switch off the main power line. Ideally one should use a fire extinguisher to put out this kind of fire but residents are unlikely to have one at home. In such a case they can use water to douse the flames but they must switch off the electricity first,” said the fireman.