ALAPPUZHA/KOTTAYAM: In the second such incident in 16 days, the computers and documents of a bank in central Kerala were destroyed in a fire on Saturday. The fire broke out in a branch of the Federal Bank situated near the Kannan Varkey bridge here at around 9 am.
Security personnel noticed fumes emerging from the ATM control room this morning and alerted the fire service. It was doused in half an hour but by then it had spread to other parts of the premises. About 15 computers were destroyed, according to the Alappuzha district police chief A Akbar .
The fire did not spread to the strong room where cash and valuable documents are kept, he added.
Police have started an investigation into the incident.
A similar fire had broken out at a branch of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) at Kottayam on November 24. An inquiry into that fire was closed within a week after apparently finding nothing suspicious. According Kala S, assistant general manager of the bank’s Kottayam Zone, the accident occurred after an overheated condenser of an overhead spot lamp caught fire.
“There were no suspicious elements in the incident. The plastic cover around the condenser of one of an overhead lamps melted due to overheating as the entire work force of the bank were on duty that day to attend to post-demonetization work. Our technical experts and the fire safety department visited the place and confirmed the findings. Though police registered an FIR, they later closed it,” she said.
Police officials, finger print experts and others had visited the spot and collected evidence after the accident.
The Kottayam bank fire caused a loss of around Rs 35 lakh.
Minor blaze at jewellery house in Kochi
A minor fire broke out at the Bhima Jewellers showroom on Edappally Bypass road late on Saturday evening. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties or injuries resulting from the blaze. According to the personnel at the Fire and Rescue Services’ Thrikkakara unit, smoke was first noticed on the third floor of the building around 6pm. Following this, firefighters from Thrikkakakara and Gandhi Nagar were rushed to the area. As thick smoke was billowing from the AC vents, the customers present inside the showroom were evacuated to safety.
It was by 7.30 pm that the Fire and Rescue Services personnel donning breathing apparatus managed to bring the situation under control. The extent of the loss is yet to be estimated. Also, the exact cause of the fire has not been established. “The reason for the fire has not been ascertained. A detailed inquiry would be conducted on Sunday,” said an official.