Three shops gutted in Kochi's busy Broadway Market

Though none was injured,the blaze triggered panic among the shopkeepers

Published: 28th May 2019 03:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2019 03:48 AM   |  A+A-

Fire and Rescue Services personnel trying to douse the fire which broke out at Broadway in Kochi on Monday | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Though none was injured, the blaze triggered panic among the shopkeepers, Around 25 fire tenders and 120 Fire and Rescue Service personnel were pressed into action, Thick smoke engulfed the area, causing breathing difficulty to people

A massive fire engulfed the decades-old buildings in the busy Broadway Market, the business hub of Kochi, on Monday gutting three shops and causing a loss of at least Rs 10 lakh. Though none was injured, the blaze triggered panic in the area with shopowners and employees running helter-skelter seeking help to douse the fire. 

The fire, which was first spotted at KC Pappu and Sons, a wholesale tailoring materials shop at 9.50 am, spread rapidly to nearby shops, including hardware dealer C K Sankunny Nair and wholesale textile dealer Bhadra Textiles. The three shops were almost completely gutted. Around 25 fire tenders from Fire and Rescue Services Department, Cochin Port Trust, Indian Navy, BPCL and Petronet rushed to the spot and struggled for two hours to bring the blaze under control. 

Around 120 Fire and Rescue Service personnel were pressed into action. Shop employees and headload workers in the area, along with onlookers, also helped in dousing the fire. According to the Fire and Rescue Service officers, employees of a shop near K C Pappu and Sons saw smoke billowing out of the first floor of the building, before shops in the area were opened for business. 

“We immediately alerted the people inside the shop and they ran out. Thick black smoke was rising above the roof and flames were coming out of the windows,” said Shibas, a staffer of the nearby shop. Thick smoke engulfed the area, causing breathing difficulty to people in the region. K K Shiju, Regional Fire Officer, Ernakulam, said the fire was completely contained in two hours. 

“Preliminary investigations indicated short circuit led to the blaze. However, the actual reason can be confirmed only after a detailed examination by the department,” he said. “The building will be inspected by the Electrical Inspectorate officers, who will assess the factors that led to the fire,” he said.

Probe to be conducted
District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla, who visited the spot, said an investigation will be conducted into the fire mishap. 
City Police Commissioner S Surendran said a special investigation team will probe the matter. 

Corp to conduct inspection
Kochi Corporation has decided to conduct an inspection in all the commercial buildings in the city in the wake of the major fire at Broadway on Monday. According to the Mayor, the engineering wing of the Corporation has been entrusted with the task of preparing the list of the buildings that have violated building norms. Mayor also said a meeting of the corporation engineers would be convened at her chamber on Tuesday.

Recent blazes in the city

As many as 10 fire incidents - major and minor blazes - were reported in Kochi during the past four months

May 18 Heaps of waste dumped on the terrace of 16-storey Swapnil Apartments on the Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, caught fire. No casualties

April 2018 Fire at an eatery in Palarivattom following 
cooking gas leak 

February 22 A major fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste management plant. The fire continued for 2-3 days

February 20 Rs 6-crore loss in blaze at a six-storey building near Ernakulam Junction Railway Station. No casualties

February 9  Fire breaks out at a home appliance godown on South Janatha Road, Palarivattom, causing loss of lakhs of rupees

December 2017 Two-wheelers parked in front of a godown of an electronics shop gutted following blaze in the shop in Pallimukku

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