A huge fire on Sunday gutted a leather factory in an industrial estate in south Kolkata, but no casualties were reported, officials said.
A fire brigade official said it took nearly five hours to put out the blaze that broke out around 8 am. The cause of the fire was not known immediately.
"It seems the leather factory - XL Enterprises Ltd - in the Kasba Industrial Estate had no fire fighting arrangements. Three workers of the factory came out of the inferno by climbing down a pipe. No one was hurt," the official said.
"The cause of the fire would be ascertained only after a forensic study," he said.
A thick smoke engulfed the area after the fire broke out.
While the owner of the factory claimed the unit had fire-fighting arrangements, West Bengal Fire Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee said there was none.
Chatterjee faced a hostile crowd when he reached the spot at 11.30 am.
"There was no fire-fighting arrangement. Is this the way to run an industrial unit?" Chatterjee asked.
People in the vicinity said the fire brigade's efforts to douse the blaze were ham-handed while fire officials claimed there was difficulty in finding a water source nearby.
Kolkatans are yet to recover from the horrors of a fire that broke out in a 13-stoteyed building in the city's biggest wholesale market in Burrabazar. The fire raged for nearly a week after the blaze broke out on Jan 12.
The Nandaram market fire of Burrabazar is said to be the worst fire in the living memory in Kolkata.