THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major fire that broke out in the garbage heap at Attakulangara bypass road kept the Fire and Rescue Operations officials in the city on their toes for more than four hours on Saturday. Three fire engines from the Chengalchoola station and one each from Vizhinjam and Chackai reached the spot where a fire spread in the garbage heap at around 10.45 a.m. barely avoiding the godown of Beverages Corporation and a KSEB transformer nearby.
According to Fire and Rescue Services officials, fire that broke out in the garbage heap spread quickly to the length and breadth of the open space which had been the dumping yard for the Corporation ever since the garbage crisis at Vilappilsala.
The gushing water from the fire engines could not put out the fire immediately as it proved really difficult to penetrate the garbage hills, said a Fire and Rescue official. Finally, two JCBs were brought from the Corporation to dig out the garbage heaps and water was then poured over them to douse the fire.
Chalai ward councillor Usha Satheesh said that the Corporation employees used to burn waste there everyday. A small fire that they left must have spread, but, the magnitude of the fire pops up the possibility of somebody deliberately having set the garbage heaps on fire, she said. According to her, a minor fire had spread in the same spot last month though it was easily put out.
The locals in the area rushed to the spot and helped the rescue service personnel. However, they blocked a garbage truck that reached the spot at that time to dump waste. The locals said that they were determined not to allow any more dumping in the area.
Just opposite the dumping yard is the Karimadom colony where many families still live in huts.
The frequent fire outbreaks is dangerous to these families, the locals said. Finally, the fire was put out around 2.30 p.m.