Three textile shops were gutted in a fire that broke out on Sunday in a commercial complex on the bustling Mint Street, in Sowcarpet. Police said an electrical short circuit was the cause of the fire.
Goods worth several lakh rupees was damaged but no causalities were reported, as the shops were shut for the weekend.
Police said the fire broke out around 2.30 pm on Sunday in the shop, owned by Muralidharan, which is located in Varadappan Complex on Mint Street. Fire personnel were alerted and five fire tenders rushed to the spot and were assisted by four Metro Water lorries.
However, fire quickly spread to two adjacent shops and it took 30 fire personnel over an hour to fight the flames.
A fire officer said they had to wear breathing apparatus to enter the shops as there was no ventilation. “The flames were doused quickly, but it took more time to cool the spot as the smoke kept circulating inside,” a fire official said. Police said the fire had also damaged some goods stocked up in three other shops.
Meanwhile, traffic was disrupted on the the bustling street as passersby and shopkeepers in the area gathered to watch the action.
Chennai city traffic cops arrested a fireman, who was driving a fire tender that was allegedly on its way to attend an emergency after it hit a two-wheeler killing a septuagenarian woman near Egmore on Sunday morning.
Police said Jayalakshmi (70) of Thiruthuraipoondi of Thiruvarur district had arrived at Egmore railway station at 6.30 am along with a relative Sabarinathan (5) to visit her daughter in Maduravoyal.
The woman’s son-in-law Venkatesan (57) had picked up the two on his bike and they were on their way home. A fire tender driven by Sekar (53) of Vepery fire station that was on its way to attend to an oil leak in Valluvarkottam, knocked them down when they were negotiating a turn on Gengu Reddy Road, near Egmore.
All the three fell off the bike and sustained injuries. They were rushed to a hospital where Jayalakshmi died.
Anna Square traffic police registered a case and arrested the fireman.