Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fire damages records at Southern Railway HQ

CHENNAI: Fire broke out at three places in the city, including a store room in the Southern Railway headquarters on Poonamallee High Road, on Friday, damaging equipment and files and keeping fire and rescue services personnel busy. A leading textile showroom on Ranganathan Street in T Nagar and a software company in Guindy were the others affected. No one was injured as the accidents occurred early in the morning.

Rescue workers struggled for about an hour in all the three places to put out the blaze that is suspected to have been triggered due to an electrical short circuit.

The call about the fire at the Southern Railway headquarters, fire and rescue services personnel said, was received at 3.45am and a team from the Vysarpadi fire station led by station fire officer Ganesan rushed there and found the blaze in the record room on the second floor had spread to adjacent rooms. Four fire tenders from other stations arrived and the fire was soon brought under control.

Employees' attendance files in two rooms were gutted. "Some computers and a few pieces of furniture were also destroyed," said a fire and rescue service official. A senior railway official said a committee had been formed to investigate the accident and to ascertain the loss incurred.

In the second incident, a security guard noticed smoke at a software company in Ambal Nagar near Ekkatuthangal in Gunidy and alerted firemen. Teams from Guindy and Ashok Nagar fires stations arrived and put out the fire. By then a few computers and some pieces of furniture were damaged. A portion of the office was also damaged. It is thought a short circuit in an air-conditioner triggered the blaze.

The third fire, at a godown on Ranganathan Street in T Nagar, took about 90 minutes to extinguish. The godown is shared by a textile shop and few other showrooms, police said.

"We wouldn't call it a major fire as no one was injured. However, it took 90 minutes for more than 100 personnel to extinguish the fire," said A Ravanan Mylapore station fie officer. "Thankfully, the fire did not spread to other floors," he said.

The TNFRS will take a city-wide audit of fire preparedness from next week, said another officer.


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