Ten students had a close shave as a fire broke out at a commercial building near the GG hospital in Jamnagar on Tuesday afternoon. They were studying at a coaching institute in the building and rescued by a police constable and passers-by.
Police said that the fire broke out Dr Batra’s, a clinic on the first floor of Radhe Krishan Avenue, a low-rise commercial building near the GG Hospital. The smoke had blocked the students’ way to the stairwell and the elevator of the building.
“The clinic was closed when the fire started, but the adjoining three shops — out of which a coaching institute functions — were engulfed in smoke. Ten students who were preparing for their examination were trapped, but they managed to rush out to the lobby of the first floor. Passers-by gathered at the spot after the fire climbed on a small cabin-like structure and managed to rescue the students,” police inspector of city ‘B’ division police station, JV Rathod told The Indian Express.
Rathod said that the students were trapped in the institute namely Super Gravity Classes, which provides coaching for competitive entrance examinations. A non-cognisable offence has registered in connection with the incident, he added.
Sources said that Ajaysinh Jhala, a police constable attached to the Local Crime Branch of Jamnagar district police, took initiative in the rescue operation by climbing up the cabin-like structure and helping the students climb down.
“We reached the spot within a few minutes of receiving the call. The fire was controlled immediately and put out within a few hours. Some students who were trapped on the first floor were rescued by passers-by,” said KK Bisnoi, Chief Fire Officer of Jamnagar. “The coaching class had fire extinguishers and the students tried to use them, but the smoke was thick. However, we managed to prevent the fire from spreading to any other shop.” He added that the fire may have started due to an electrical short circuit and the coaching institute had a fire-safety certificate.
Incidentally, 22 students were killed after a fire broke out at a private coaching institute in Surat last year. Some students were charred to death, while others had died due to injuries sustained after they had fallen down while trying to climb down the building.