At least four paint shops and two godowns of chemical (thinner used for paint) were gutted in a major fire that broke out at Miller Ganj in Ludhiana around 3 pm on Tuesday. No casualty was reported till the last update was received around 8:00pm.
At least three two-wheelers and a cycle, which were parked outside the shops, were gutted in the fire that was caused after blasts took place in drums carrying thinner.
Panic gripped the shopkeepers and residents of the area. The flames erupting from the buildings also disrupted the traffic near the shops.
The efforts to douse the fire were on till filing of the report. As the fire fighters were unable to douse the fire by sprinkling water, they used more than 400 litre of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to bring the blaze under control. Around 10 fire tenders made more than 50 rounds to bring water to control the fire.
The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
It is believed that property worth crores of rupees was gutted in the fire.
Assistant divisional fire officer Bhupinder Singh confirmed that no causality or injury to someone was reported in the incident.
Rajinder Singh, an eye witness, said, “I was passing from nearby when I saw flames coming out of a godown after a sound of a blast. The fire soon caught the vehicles, while the people had narrow escape.”
Raj Kumar, a fire official, said that the firemen had successfully taken out four drums of the chemical to avoid more blasts.
Meanwhile, dense smoke had engulfed the area.
Mayor orders enquire
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, who visited the area, has directed the officials concerned to enquire into the matter to know the actual reason behind the fire. “We will probe into the matter and find out why there were no safety arrangements in the godown,” he said, adding, “The owners of chemical godowns should ensure fire safety arrangements.”
Gohalwaria said, “We will take strict action against those violating fire safety norms,” adding that fortunately no casualty was reported due to the fire.