A major fire broke out at a shopping mall, adjacent to a petrol pump on busy Boring Road, in Patna early Saturday morning. All securitymen trapped inside were safely evacuated.
Director general, homeguard and fire services, PN Rai said there was no casualty.
“The blaze at GV Mall is under control and fire fighters are working hard to douse it completely,” Rai told HT.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said in a tweet on the microbloging site that the mall was owned by son of a Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA and Rohini Acharya, daughter of Lalu Prasad, had purchased an office at Rs 58 lakh in the building.
“JV Mall (sic) of Praveen Yadav son Rjd Mla Shri Narayan gutted in fire.Rohini d/o Lalu 58 Lakh office in 2014 in this bldg,” Modi tweeted.
The fire, believed to have been caused by short circuit inside the AC plant, was first noticed at 5.15 am by a patrolling party from SK Puri police station. “The police team broke open the main gate of the mall, which was locked from outside, and rescued eight private security guards trapped inside,” Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said.
Located in a thickly populated area, the mall houses restaurants, two dozen shops, offices of many companies and a FM radio station. An electronic goods showroom and a commercial complex share the boundary wall with the mall. Besides, there are four petrol pumps in the Boring Road area.
Rai said more than 50 fire fighters, who were pressed into service, prevented the flames from spreading to nearby buildings.
“Had there been delay in removing LPG cylinders from restaurants in the mall, the fire could have engulfed more buildings and resulted in a big tragedy. The spread of fire to the petrol pump in the neighbourhood could have wreaked havoc in the area,” he added.
Another official said the fire broke out in the ground floor and spread to other floors of the building. The huge stock of clothes, leather items and other inflammable materials in the shops and offices added fuel to the fire, he said.
The fire officials said safety measures in such a big building in a posh locality was not up to the mark. “We have found poor arrangement to check such incident in the building,’ they added..