A fire broke out at Hotel Hindustan International, a five-star luxury hotel near Exide Crossing in Kolkata, on Wednesday afternoon triggering panic among the guests and hotel staff.
There were, however, no reports of any injuries or casualties. Three fire tenders were pressed into action and the fire was doused in less than an hour. The cause of the fire couldn’t be ascertained till reports last came in but officials apprehend that it was a short circuit.
Barely 24 hours before, another fire had broken out in the Shantiniketan Building on Camac Street close to the hotel. A bank’s office was gutted and one person was injured in the incident on Tuesday.
Fire brigade officials said they got a call from the hotel authorities around 2.50 pm on Wednesday. “The fire had broken out in a store room located on the first floor lobby. Three tenders were pressed into action,” said an official.
Panic was evident among the guests and hotel staff, as they gathered outside the hotel and watched fire brigade personnel spray water. The window panes on the back side were broken to allow the smoke to gush out. The guests were asked to gather either outside the hotel or near the poolside.
“I was in my room on the seventh floor and saw smoke billowing out from one of the floors. I just shoved my passport, some important documents and money and rain down the stairs to hit the road,” said a French guest who had come to the city to attend a seminar.
“I was in my room and my husband was attending a seminar. Suddenly I got a call from the reception that a fire has broken out and that I should come down immediately,” said another guest who was seen resting under the shade of a tree just outside the hotel.
A spokesperson of the hotel said almost all the rooms had guests as a seminar was going on. A team of international guests had put up in the hotel since Tuesday to attend the seminar which kicked off from Wednesday. A meeting of a pharmaceutical company was also going on.
“We were attending the meeting. Some of us got a smell of something burning. Within minutes a hotel staff barged in and asked us to go out and gather near the pool side as a fire had broken out,” said A Ghosh who had come to attend a meeting.
Hotel authorities however claimed that within a few hours after the flames were doused the guests were allowed to go back to their rooms as the situation was brought under control.
“Everything is under control and even in the evening we had a Japanese team check in,” said a hotel official.