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Archive for February, 2019

Rs 18 lakh turns to ashes as fire engulfs ATM (25.02.2019)

AHMEDABAD: Currency notes worth Rs 18 lakh were burnt to ashes after a major fire broke out at an Indian Bank ATM in Rudra Arcade at Helmet Crossroads in Memnagar on Sunday morning. The fire spread to six adjacent offices, destroying documents and furniture. Losses may run into crores. Fifty firefighters took around one-and-a-half hours to douse the flames with the help of two water tankers. Chief fire officer of the Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) M F Dastoor said that no one suffered any injury. A senior fire official, quoting the branch manager of the bank, said that the ATM machine, two air-conditioners, furniture inside the ATM, and a flex board were burnt. “A nearby shop selling fitness and surgical instruments was damaged. Three ACs and fitness equipment were charred. The loss of Rs 75 lakh is estimated,” said a fire official. “The fire gutted a dental clinic too. Files of patients and surgical instruments and
equipment worth Rs 1 crore were burnt. The fire also spread to the office of an advocate and BJP leader, J J Patel and three other offices. ACs, furniture, and documents were gutted; the loss is estimated to be Rs 2-2.50 crore.”

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Another senior fire official said that frequent fire accidents have been occurring in the city but fire-safety protocols are lax. “The ATM, where the fire broke out because of a short-circuit, lacked any fire-safety equipment,” said the official. “Besides, there was 2/25/2019 Rs 18 lakh turns to ashes as fire engulfs ATM – Times of India no MCB (miniature circuit breaker) switch which could stop the flow of electricity during a short-circuit.” A team of FSL experts has been called in to investigate. No action for negligence
A senior fire official said that though fires have been breaking out in the city frequently, no criminal action has been initiated in any case. “In the case of Shreeji Tower fire, residents took action but authorities like the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) did not make any concrete action plan,” the official said. He said that the civic body must lodge a criminal complaint in cases of fire due to negligence. In the case of the ATM fire, currency notes worth lakhs were gutted. So the authorities need to take suo motu cognizance of the case and begin an inquiry. 244 Firefighters protesting exam detained
At least 244 firefighters who were protesting against the exam held for various positions of the AFES by the AMC, were detained by Gujarat University police after they sat on a hunger strike at the exam venue in the university on Sunday. The firefighters were demanding that promotions and positions be given on the basis of their seniority and not merely on the basis of an exam. This happened at a time when a team of firefighters was battling the blaze at Helmet Crossroads. An AFES official said that the fire department has been facing staff crunch to the extent of 95% but legal complications and controversies were being created to affect recruitment.

Ahmedabad: Fire guts 15 shanties near Chandola lake (21.02.2019)

AHMEDABAD: Even before summer sets in two major incidents of fire were reported in Ahmedabad on Thursday. This included an incident where a major fire engulfed over 15 shanties in slum area besides Chandola lake in Narol area of the city. The another incident occurred in Vanch village in the outskirts of city where in a fire broke out in fire-crackers factory located on a farm land. The first incident of Chandola lake occurred on Thursday afternoon when fire suddenly broke out in a shanty near a Dargah (shrine).

A team of 30 personnel of Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Service (AFES) rushed there with eight fire tenders and doused the fire in around one and half hour. Articles worth Rs lakhs were gutted into fire, said a fire official. MF Dastoor, chief fire official, said that the reason for the fire has not been ascertained. Locals said that a short circuit could be reason besides someone also might have done some mischief which caused the fire. In March last year, a major fire had occurred in the same area wherein 100 shanties were engulfed in flames.

Another incident of Vanch in daskroi taluka left three persons injured, said Dastoor. “We managed to douse the fire with one fire tenders and three AFES personnel,” he said.

Ahmedabad: 27 students cheat death in major fire.

AHMEDABAD: At least 27 students had a close shave when a major fire erupted in the building housing their coaching class in the Jivraj Park area of the city on Wednesday morning. The students were on the first floor of Sahajanand Building, at Astha Coaching Institute, when a fire erupted in a mattress shop on the ground floor, where there was a large stock of highly flammable materials like foam sheets and cotton bales. The smoke from the fire was visible from at least one kilometer away and Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) personnel were soon at the spot. TimesView The Gujarat Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Regulations have been in force since 2016, but precious little has been done to enforce these regulations in Gujarat’s cities. It is the duty of the state to establish a system of fire audits which makes sure the law is complied with. If the state continues to sleep on compliance, precious lives will be lost to fires. On getting there, they found that at least 27 students were stuck on the first floor, trapped by heavy smoke.

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AFES personnel first evacuated them and then began dousing the blaze. Officials said it took around two or three hours to put out the fire, 12 fire trucks and hundreds of AFES personnel were deployed. A fire services official said the cause of the fire is yet unknown, because many things that could have ignited the fire — bidis, an earthen-lamp and incense sticks — were found at the shop. A short circuit can also not be ruled out, said the official. A seven-year-old boy and a forty-year-old woman, a tutor, had died when a major fire broke out at a tuition class in the Vesu area of Surat in November 2018. “The major issue is that the building, where an educational institute was operating, did not have fire safety equipment. This contravenes the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, which mandates that every institute have fire safety equipment. Even after the Surat incident, neither the state government nor the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has learned any lessons,” a fire official said.

Delhi: 17 dead in massive fire at Karol Bagh hotel, 2 jumped off the building

A massive fire broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi’s Karol Bagh area early on Tuesday morning, leaving 17 people dead. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The officials were able to rescue some stranded guests in the hotel. Officials said the fire started due to a short circuit. Thick smoke and huge flames could be seen emanating from the 40-room hotel till around 7 am.

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Twenty-six fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot. Three people have sustained severe burn injuries. Nearly 35 people have been rescued. The dead bodies have been taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Some injured were also taken to Sir Ganga ram Hospital and Lady Hardings Hospital.

Fire officials said two people jumped off the building to escape the flames. The recuse operation was called off around 9:50 am and cooling process was started. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Sunil Choudhary told news agency ANI, “The fire has been doused. We have to look for bodies, if any, inside the hotel. Those injured have been sent to hospital. Two hotel staff members had jumped from the fourth floor of the hotel in an attempt to save themselves. The status of the staff who jumped is yet to be known.”

Kerala: Massive fire breaks out at warehouse in Kochi (20.02.19)

A fire broke out at a six-storey warehouse of footwear brand Paragon in Kochi near Ernakulam South Railway Station on Wednesday. Four fire and rescue units have reached the spot and are trying to bring the fire under control.

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The fire was first reported from the fourth floor of the building that has a showroom and godown. Short circuit is suspected to be the reason behind the fire. Authorities have asked residents of the nearby apartments and buildings to evacuate immediately.