Property worth lakhs of rupees was gutted as a major fire broke out in the main branch of the State Bank of India near Purnia Police lines in this divisional headquarter town early today, officials said.
As the people were getting ready for eid-ul-fitr and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, smoke was seen billowing out of SBI's 3-storeyed building housing its regional office and rushed to douse the blaze.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar with fire tenders reached the spot and helped the bank employees to take out the cash from ATMs and chests. The fire was controlled after two hours, they said.
When contacted, Assistant General Manager (SBI) Arun Kumar Mishra said though the exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained it was believed to be due to electrical short-circuit. "We are yet to know the quantum of damages caused by the fire", Mishra said, adding it would take around ten days to ensure normal functioning of the branch as several important equipment, besides documents and files have been reduced to ashes.