A fire broke out in Don Bosco School at Park Circus on Wednesday, triggering panic among parents who rushed to the site to pick up their children. Around 3,000 students were evacuated from their classes, and no injuries were reported. Fire officials said they suspect that the fire was caused by a burning cigarette thrown by a construction worker. Officials said they first spotted flames emanating from the roof of the school building in the afternoon, after which the students were ushered out of their classes and taken to the prayer room on the ground floor.
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A statement issued by Father Bikash Mondal, the principal of the school, said that a small fire broke out on the terrace where sheets of paper and mats were stored, but was brought under control in a few minutes by workers with the help of the internal fire safety system, water and sand. “There is nothing to panic about, everything is normal and the normal school is on,” the statement read. A fire official said that four fire engines were rushed to the spot.
The school authorities informed parents about the fire, and that it had been brought under control through SMSes. However, the incident triggered panic among parents, many of whom rushed to the school or began calling up the authorities.
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One parent told The Indian Express, “The entire thing was brought under control very quickly. But as parents we were very worried. We saw the smoke and imagined the worst. In that situation, all we wanted was for our children to be safe.”
Jhum Jhum Basu Das, mother of a Class VIII student, said, “When I heard about the fire, I had no idea where the children were and what they were doing. I was very tense, and some parents even broke down here. The school had tackled the problem in a very efficient manner,” she said, adding that she was relieved when she saw her son Arka Das walk out.
“I had no idea about the fire. It was lunch break, and we were playing downstairs,” Arka Das said.