3 fire incidents keep understaffed fire department on toes

Major fire at restaurant Bistro 226 located at Ghumar Mandi,loss yet to be ascertained.

Written by Goyal Divya | Ludhiana | Published: May 10, 2013 1:02:39 am

Three fire incidents,including the major one in restaurant Bistro 226 located at Ghumar Mandi,kept the fire department on toes on Thursday.

The fire broke out around 11.45 am at Bistro and the fire brigade was informed around 12 after which three fire tenders reached the spot,and it took approximately 40 minutes to contain the flames.

Fortunately,being the morning hours,the restaurant did not have customers and only staff members of the restaurant were there who were evacuated immediately. The whole terrace of the restaurant was gutted by fire and some parts of the first floor were damaged.

The cause of the fire is being cited as short circuit which happened because of the sparking in the wires when the genset running at that time automatically switched the load when electricity supply was back,and a bang was heard on the terrace,where the electricity meter was installed.

Inaugurated in June 2011,the restaurant had a fire safety certificate till last year. However,the fire officials are not sure if it has been been renewed this year or not. The fire officials confirmed to Ludhiana Newsline that the restaurant had the fire-dousing equipment when they reached the spot. A probe is on to find out if the equipment was used immediately or not.

Bhupinder Singh,assistant divisional fire officer,said: “We are still investigating the whole thing,and it was really a very busy day. We got calls about fire incidents from three places in short gaps. I agree that there is a shortage of firemen but we managed somehow. As per our initial report,short circuit was the reason for fire in Bistro 226 and they had fire-dousing equipment. The remaining details will be clear by Friday only.”

The restaurant owner,Sukhkaran Singh Gill,said,“We are still figuring out what all is gone and what is left. We have completely lost our terrace which had expensive furniture. Luckily,customers were not there and staff were evacuated safely.”

In the other two fire incidents,there was no loss of human life. While in Machhiwara’s Pajeta village,20 slums were gutted because of sparking in wires passing over the jhuggis,five goats were burnt to death along with goods of slum dwellers.

In the third fire incident at Maheshwari woollens,a hosiery at Jalandhar bypass,there was no major loss.

Reportedly,while three fire brigades with only three firemen and two drivers were rushed to Bistro,another five firemen took care of Machhiwara village and hosiery fire incidents. As per law,400 firemen are required to manage Ludhiana district but the fire wing has currently only 65 firemen and 13 vehicles.

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