BANGALORE: Fire broke out in the basement area of Columbia Asia hospital in Hebbal on BIA Road on Friday afternoon. Though it is suspected that a spark in a UPS triggered fire, the exact reason is yet to be ascertained.
According to fire department officials, a maintenance supervisor at the hospital noticed fire in the basement of the hospital, where the main UPS batteries were kept, around 2.45 pm. Later, the fire resulted in explosion of UPS batteries. Before the fire tenders rushed to the spot, the hospital staff tried to douse the fire using extinguishers and as a precautionary measure, they shifted patients from the wards on the ground and first floors. Within 30 minutes about 75 patients, including eight in the ICU, were shifted to nearby hospitals.
Chief Fire Officer N U Erappa said that the fire was under control when the firemen arrived at the spot. “However, lot of smoke had resulted in poor visibility and our men had to break some windows to clear the smoke,” he added appreciating the timely action of the staff in controlling the fire. He added that the fire would have been more intense if the water sprinklers and extinguishers had not worked and the flames would have leaped to other floors of the building as well. Even firemen praised the hospital’s preparedness, fire safety measures, placing of entry, exit and emergency exit points.
A fire official said that the smoke made its way to the first floor as hospital staff opened staircase doors leading to the upper floors.