THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major fire broke out in the godown of a footwear showroom at Karamana at 9.30am on Wednesday. The fire caused a loss of around Rs 10 lakh in Bata’s godown, according to its owner.Located on the third floor of the building, the godown lacked safety measures in place, said officials. Three fire engines from Thiruvananthapuram and Chenkalchoola unit doused the fire in an operation lasted nearly one-and-a-half hours.
“We got the call by 9.45am and we reached the spot quickly. Around 24,000 litres of water were used to douse the fire, in which plastic and leather footwear got burnt. We believe the fire was caused due to a short circuit,” said Suresh Kumar, Chenkalchoola station officer.The incident once again brought into focus the lack of safety measures and preparedness in establishments in the city. Fire and safety rules and regulations that are mandatory were not followed. Commercial establishments require a sprinkler system and assorted equipment. “While we cannot initiate action on the same, we can issue a notice and bring it to the District Collector’s notice. Godowns are inspected regularly,” said Suresh.
Karamana police inspected the site after the fire was doused. “A team from KSEB will evaluate the situation and identify the cause. With regard to the lack of fire and safety equipment, we will need a report from the Fire and Rescue Department before we can proceed. The loss amount is roughly estimated and we will have a clear idea after the estimation is completed,” said a police officer.
Earlier, 1,300 buildings in the district were found lacking in adequate fire-handling facilities by the Fire and Rescue Department. While many buildings do have fire and safety measures in place, the equipment in the rest are non-functional or past their expiry dates. As per norms, two fire protection systems must be ensured in buildings -- a fire detection or alarm system and a fire suppression system.