Panic spread among villagers from Doshigaon after firecrackers stored inside a warehouse on the outskirts of Ratlam town caught fire.
The incident took place at around 4.15 am when the mother of Sunil Tiwari, owner of the warehouse, heard noises and a foul smell coming from the warehouse. After sometime, the noise increased and the entire warehouse was engulfed in flames.
Senior administrative officials along with collector and superintendent of police rushed to the spot. The fire safety squad took six water tenders and more than two-and-a-half hours to douse the fire.
Fearing recurrence of a Petlawad-like mishap, villagers threw their LPG cylinders out of their house, shifted them to other places and gathered at an open space.
Tehsildar Rashmi Srivastava confirmed that the administration had sealed the godown as it was not authorized to store crackers. An investigation has begun to ascertain the cause of fire.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, district collector B Chandrashekhar said Sunil Tiwari shifted his godown from the centre of the town to Doshigaon after district administration and police teams cracked down on godowns in and around Ratlam following the Petlawad blast on September 12.
The administration has also seized 114 boxes of crackers from another unlicensed godown in the town owned by Tiwari.
The collector added that the administration has forwarded their recommendation to cancel Tiwari’s license at the Bhopal office responsible for issuing and cancellation of licenses.