A fire broke out on Wednesday at a godown of the Kancheepuram Cooperative Society at New Washermenpet gutting goods worth several lakhs of rupees.
The smoke, which emanated from the facility located on Veeraraghavan Road near the RTO office, affected passersby as well as hindered the vision of motorists as a thick smoke screen engulfed the area for several hours. However, no casualties were reported. Fire department personnel were still engaged in dousing the blaze.
The fire was reportedly sparked by an electrical short-circuit and burnt down goods, including bureaus, chairs, tables, stock record books as well as about 30,000 empty gunny bags meant for packing Public Distribution System (PDS) supplies and distribution.
Fire department sources said they received a distress call around 10 am and rushed to the spot. As the fire raged, the entire building collapsed complicating the process to put out the blaze.
“We came to work as usual. One of our supervisors opened a storeroom door and was shocked to see smoke there. The fire quickly started spreading. Since there were only a few of us inside the godown we rushed out at once,” said Devaraj, one of the sales assistants working in the godown.
About seven fire tenders from stations including Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Korukkupet and Washermanpet were pressed into service while water from about 10 Metrowater lorries was also used. Additional Divisional Fire Officer Manivannan visited the spot to supervise the firefighting operations. About 60 firemen worked to bring the situation under control.
“We started at 11.15 am and until 5 pm we worked towards controlling the fire. The winds made it very difficult to contain it. The jute bags that were burning gave out intense smoke. About 20,000 to 30,000 bags were reduced to ash. There was no casualty but several gunny bags were gutted,” said K Venugopal, station officer, Fire Prevention North Wing II. “It has been 24 hours since the fire broke out. But the layer underneath the debris needed to be cooled further. A bow crane is on its way to clear the debris”, the officer added.