Panic prevailed at a building of the food and supply department office, adjoining to the municipal corporation building, after a fire broke out at Sector 17 on Tuesday. No casualties were reported. This is the fourth fire incident in Sector 17 in the past one month.
The food and supply department is adjoining to the office of the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA). Owing to the fire, functioning at the RLA was totally paralysed and it remained non-functional for the entire day.
The fire affected only the office of the food and supply department and several important official documents were gutted. "It is believed that the fire was caused by a short-circuit somewhere in the office, but we are still verifying it," chief fire officer ML Sharma said.
Sources said the incident took place at around 3pm when some staff members of the food and supply department noticed smoke coming out from the basement of the building. They alerted senior officials of the department and went on to inform the nearest fire brigade station at Sector 17. A senior official of the UT fire department, however, alleged negligence on the part of officials of the department concerned. "Instead of calling up at the helpline of the fire department, the officials hired an autorickshaw to inform the fire station officials about the incident. The fire could have been controlled more easily had the department officials called up 101 in time," the official added.
On receiving the information, three fire tenders reached the spot and the entire office was evacuated. After about half-an-hour, fire fighters controlled the blaze. However, it was learnt that smoke was coming from the building till the filing of this report.