A major fire broke out at footwear brand Paragon’s godown at Kalathilpatambil Road in Kochi Wednesday. Fire and rescue teams have arrived at the spot and are trying to douse the blaze.
The building was evacuated immediately, though it is still unclear if there is anyone trapped inside the building. Traffic around the area has been disrupted while the fire tenders are trying to bring the fire under control.
A major fire broke out at footwear brand Paragon’s office and godown at Kalathilpatambil Road in Kochi on Wednesday. Fire and rescue teams have arrived at the spot and are trying to douse the blaze.
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“This is a major fire, level 3. At least 30-40 fire engines have been used and more are waiting. Right now, they are spraying foam from the neighbouring building to completely douse the fire. But small patches of fire will continue to smoulder for the next couple of hours. Engines from the state fire department, defence and BPCL are being used. The mayor and the current MLA are monitoring efforts,” said a Navy officer taking part in rescue efforts.
“The cause of fire is still premature to predict. But the good thing is that the fire has been contained and there is no damage to nearby buildings including a residential property. In fact fire personnel are spraying water and foam through the windows of the neighboring building. No casualty reported so far, but we still have to check.
“Since the road is narrow, access was a problem for the fire engines, but now everything is looking good. The fire department and the corporation has to take a call on the stability of the building whether it needs to be demolished or not,” the Navy officer said.
According to sources, the fire was reported from the fourth floor of the six-storey building. There are no reports of casualties so far. The extent of the damage to the office and materials housed in the godown are yet to be ascertained.
District Collector Mohammed Y Safirulla said the fire has been totally contained. “There are no injuries or loss of lives. The people in the nearby building were evacuated. Most of the products inside were rubber-based. We will have to wait for one more hour to know the extent of the damage,” he said.
Regional fire officer, Kottayam, Arun Kumar also gave an update of the overall situation. “There are engines from three regions. All engines from all stations that we could spare have been brought here. The blaze has been contained. We are cooling all the little fires inside,” he said.
However, an eyewitness who was in the building at the time of the incident told indianexpress.com that it is possible that a short circuit might have taken place in the first or second floors of the building. “All fire safety norms were taken care of. It’s a 12-year-old building,” added the person who is also a footwear supplier.
Latest footwear has soles that have PU (Polyurethane- a chemical compound) material and is therefore highly inflammable.