September 2, 2008
Major fire broke in saravana stores,t.nagar
A major fire which broke out in a commercial complex in T Nagar early on Monday morning, raged for more than nine hours, exposing the complete lack of compliance with safety norms and civic guidelines by the building’s owners.
Saravana Stores, a multi-storeyed shopping complex, and an adjacent building which housed more than 80 shops on Ranganathan street were gutted in the blaze. Police sources said no one was injured, though two people are missing. The loss of property is estimated at Rs 1.5 crore. At least 15 employees who were staying on the fifth floor of Saravana Stores were rescued. Fire and rescue officials are yet to reveal the cause of the fire.
Experts said the accident was waiting to happen as T Nagar has many buildings that flout fire safety norms and development rules. Most of them exceed the floor space index and do not have the mandatory seven-metre space around the building to allow for movement of service and rescue vehicles. Many shops do not upgrade their transformers and wiring to handle the load of extra electrical fittings, which could lead to short circuits. A maze of narrow streets and huge crowds add to the problem. Police and fire service personnel say it could have been a major tragedy if the fire had broken out during working hours.
Inspector R Srikanth attached to the West Mambalam police station (law and order) reached the spot at 6.05 am. “I noticed the blaze on the third floor of Lucky Plaza. The security guard in Saravana Stores said employees stayed on the fifth floor. The power was out. We went in to rescue the sleeping employees. Twelve employees were brought down,” he said.
Fire and rescue service personnel said they received a call at 6.10 am on Monday from passers-by who noticed thick black fumes coming from the third floor of the five-storey Lucky Plaza complex located adjacent to Saravana stores.
Fire personnel rescued two other employees of Saravana Stores, who were stuck on the third floor. Another employee was rescued after breaking in through the terrace.
Police commissioner R Sekar said, “At least 300 police personnel have been deployed to assist the fire and rescue personnel. The police and fire service personnel rescued at least 15 people. No one was injured in the incident.”
Fire broke out at 6:05 am
Fire brigade arrived at 6:13 am
Loss of property estimated at Rs 1.5 cr
No. of tankers used 20
Personnel roped in to douse the fire 150
Employees who were rescued 15
Due to timely intervention, we restricted the fire from spreading. The buildings which caught fire do not have any firefighting equipment in spite of recent reminders to shop owners
Sources:The times of india
at 11:39 AM