A major fire gutted the zonal office of the Dena Bank on Chandigarh Road in the wee hours of Monday. While no casualties were reported, the blaze destroyed official records, files, computers, furniture, air conditioners and almost everything inside the bank.
The exact reason is not clear yet but fire staff suspect a short circuit caused the fire that broke out at 5.30am. Some locals detected smoke emanating in the area and found the bank, located on the third floor of the building near Vardhaman Chowk, engulfed in flames.
Seven fire tenders rushed to the spot on being informed. Eyewitnesses claimed that the firefighters were struggling to douse the flames on the third floor because they did not have a proper ladder to reach the windows of the bank at that height. They then broke a door to enter the building.
As it was impossible to spray directly, they first broke the lock of UT World Wide India Pvt Ltd’s office adjoining Dena Bank and drilled a big hole in the common wall to get inside.
Sub fire officer Rajinder Sharma said they got information about the incident at around 7am. “We doused the fire by 11.30am. We broke down doors and a shutter to go inside the building.”
Sources said water’s pressure was low on the third floor and the office of the insurance company on the second floor was also vacated to avoid damage.
Gaurav Bali, manager, UT Worldwide Pvt Ltd, said cracks have appeared in their office. “The flames were doused after the firefighters broke through from our office,” he said.
“It was a zonal office which contained administrative records. There was no cash or lockers available in this bank. However, it was a major fire incident and the branch is badly damaged. We are investigating the matter,” said TR Ranjan, chief manager, Dena Bank.