24 hrs to put out godown fire
The fire that broke out at a Rajarhat godown on Tuesday afternoon could not be put out for almost 24 hours.
The godown was stacked with medicines and surgical goods, both of which are combustible.
A fire officer said half of the godown with surgical goods had a couple of fire extinguishers. But the other half where a pharma company had stocked its products did not have any fire safety measure, he said.
"We had brought the fire under control yesterday.... But for safety reasons we continued with the damping and cooling for such a long time as there were plenty of small combustible products," he said. "If any of them continues to burn, it can trigger a fire."
The nearly 4,000sq ft godown on the first floor of a two-storeyed house near Derozio College was stacked with medical and consumer goods of a reputable pharmaceutical company and of a company dealing in surgical products. "Two companies mainly stocked their products here. Most of their products were combustible," the officer said.
"We will lodge an FIR as soon as we can ascertain who the owner of the godown is," he said. "The companies whose goods were found in the godown probably did not own the place."
The officer said the house should have had water sprinklers, a water reservoir with hydrants and smoke alarms in view of the large volume of combustible products stocked.
"A pond adjacent to the house helped prevent the fire from spreading. Had it not been there it would have been more difficult," he said. "Moreover the large lawn in front of the house could be used to park and operate multiple engines."
The heat generated from the fire led to several cracks in the walls of the building.
People of the area claimed lack of vigilance allowed small godowns to stock paper and combustible products without taking any precaution.
Most small godowns along the Rajarhat road stock cardboards, paper and plastic items for recycling.