A fire broke out at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune on Friday afternoon. The Pune Fire Brigade took over two hours to extinguish the flames and bring the situation under control. No loss of life was reported, but a fireman and an IISER student sustained injuries during the fire-fighting operation.
The control room of Pune Fire Brigade received a call regarding the fire at IISER around 12.15 pm. Soon, four fire tenders and a water tanker were pressed into action.
Prashan Ranpise, chief fire officer with Pune Fire Brigade, said, “The fire started in a laboratory where some organic chemicals were stored. After receiving the call, we pressed four fire tenders into action and more were on stand-by. We brought the situation under control by 2.36 pm. Then the cooling operation was carried out for a few hours.”
“We are yet to ascertain the extent of damage and the possible cause. We are coordinating with the institute authorities who had started preliminary efforts before our tenders reached the spot,” said Ranpise.
Meanwhile, a fire engine driver, Karim Pathan, sustained injuries on his hand during the action. “The injured fireman was provided medical treatment and he is stable,” said Ranpise.
Sources said the fire appears to have originated from a lab of the Chemistry department, located on the first floor of the main IISER-Pune building. ” A student working at the lab has sustained minor injuries, been given medical aid and shifted to a nearby hospital. The lab was operational at the time of the incident. Smoke is still emanating from the building,” said an IISER-Pune official.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only a limited number of students are living and attending laboratory tasks on campus.
The IISER is located on Baner Road in Pune and is a research-intensive teaching institute. The Union Ministry of Education had set up seven Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) across the country. Other than Pune, these institutes are located at Bhopal, Berhampur, Mohali, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Tirupati.