Major Fire in Timber Depot
By Express News Service | Published: 31st December 2013 08:28 AM |
A major fire broke out in a timber factory in Bholakpur area of Musheerabad in the city in the wee hours of Monday.
Though there was no loss of life, the fire is said to have charred down timber worth over Rs 2 crore. The timber godown, right behind Hakeel Shah Masjid in Bakaram, was rented by Maruti Enterprises.
According to eyewitnesses, thick smoke started emanating from the depot around 3 am and soon grew into a massive fire engulfing even houses abutting the compound. The depot, in the middle of a residential locality, is learnt to be over a hundred years old. GHMC Circle 9 officials, however, have clarified that the locality is a commercial one and the residential buildings have been there for decades.
Amidst reports of the timber depot lacking permission from the civic body, GHMC Cental Zone commissioner Sivaparvathy said the tin shed and the open space have been operating since 1975 as per GHMC records. Though the trade licence was in the name of one Eswaraiah, she said, the license was being renewed every year without any change.
The fire could be completely doused only around 2:30 in the afternoon. Eight fire brigades were pressed into service. According to T Mahender Reddy, district fire officer, Central zone, cause of the fire and the estimated loss were yet to be ascertained. He said, a good number of teak wood were gutted and added that a short circuit is suspected to have caused the fire. He added that the fire call message was recorded at 4:55 a.m. and the first fire tender from Secunderabad had arrived at the spot at around 6 a.m.
The fire fighters had to face a lot of trouble accessing the site due to the congested nature of the locality. “Baba in the masjid stays awake all night. He informed others after he noticed smoke and fire at night. We had informed the fire department at around 3:15 a.m. and the first vehicle arrived at around 6 am.
Our people had to flee their houses and safeguard our own properties,” said Kishan Vagela, a resident.
Residents living in the houses abutting the timber depot said loss to their houses and property could have been avoided had the fire tenders arrived immediately. A fire accident case was registered at the Musheerabad police station.
Central zone deputy commissioner of police Kamalasan Reddy said, “We have not taken anyone into custody. A fire accident case is registered. Based on electricity department’s opinion on cause of the accident, we will take up the issue. Investigation is on.”