A major fire broke out here at Somajiguda when tractor machinery stored in a building on the second floor of the Olbee Business Centre caught fire on Wednesday evening.
The fire, which broke out at about 5.45 pm was extinguished by 7.45 pm by fire fighters, who arrived late on the scene due to huge traffic jams caused by heavy rainfall in the city. Though nobody was injured, fire officials said that the equipment, whose cost is estimated to run into lakhs of rupees was gutted.
Nagarjuna Reddy, in-charge regional fire officer (RFO), Hyderabad said that the flames could have been sparked due to a short circuit, but that it is still yet to be confirmed. “Although the fire could have spread much more, it was contained soon once my men arrived on the scene,” he said and added that since the entire building had glass tiles fitted in the front, the flames did not spread below.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire broke out as early as 5.30 pm, but went unnoticed for 10 minutes as it orginated at the rear of the building. “We saw smoke at about 5.45 pm and we all ran out. It was only then we realised that it was a huge fire,” said Bushra, who works at the Lakme Salon situated in the Olbee Business Centre. She added that about 60 to 70 people are employed in the building. The owner of the salon, Jyotsna Rao, who also arrived on the scene later, stated that there was no damage to her store and the others adjacent to it.
The incident led to a huge traffic jam on the Raj Bhavan stretch. Policemen blocked one side of the road where the accident took place for almost half an hour.
They diverted traffic from a lane, while traffic slowed down on the opposite side as a fire engine was stationed there.
A large crowd also gathered on the road to catch a glimpse of the flames and smoke that billowed out of the building.
While Reddy said that the first fire engine had reached at 6.40 pm due to traffic jams, eyewitnesses said that the fire engines didn’t arrive on the scene before 7pm. “While they didn’t take long to take care of the situation, the engines took more than an hour to reach,” said Chaitanya, who works at the Airtel office nearby.
Nagarjuna Reddy said that a total of three fire engines were utilised to extinguish the flames.