Close shave for workers as hosiery unit catches fire in Ludhiana

It took firefighters an hour to douse the fire caused due to a short-circuit in the compressor of an air-conditioner at a hosiery unit in a congested Ludhiana market
The hosiery unit did not have adequate fire safety arrangements; other shopkeepers in the Ludhiana market have demanded fire hydrants from the municipal corporation. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
The hosiery unit did not have adequate fire safety arrangements; other shopkeepers in the Ludhiana market have demanded fire hydrants from the municipal corporation. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
Published on Sep 30, 2021 01:51 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Ludhiana:

Panic gripped the Wait Ganj area, which is one of the busiest and most congested markets in the city, after fire broke out at a hosiery unit on Wednesday.

As thick black smoke engulfed the area, shops surrounding the burning unit, AK Knitwear, started vacating their premises. The workmen present in the unit were able to leave the building in the nick of time. While no casualty was reported, goods and materials amounting to lakhs that had been kept on the ground floor of the four-storey building were gutted.

A short-circuit in the compressor or air vent of the air conditioner on the outer side of the building is said to have caused the fire incident, as the hosiery material caught fire due to a spark. Neighbours and workmen tried to douse the flames using fire extinguishers and water buckets, but to no avail.

Wait Ganj Vyapar Mandal Association president Arun Kapoor said, “It is fortunate that the fire did not break out at night, otherwise the flames may have also engulfed the neighbouring units.”

Firefighters said that the unit was lacking in fire safety arrangements and they found it difficult to enter the unit due to the thick black smoke emanating from the unit. They used a ladder to douse the flames from the outside and then entered the unit.

Sub-fire officer (SFO) Atish Rai said that the owner of the unit was near the Sundar Nagar fire station when blaze broke out and approached the fire brigade at around 11:35am. “Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the firefighting operation lasted an hour.”

Traffic, encroachments slow down fire fighters

In the wake of the ongoing winter apparel sale, the firefighters had a tough time reaching the hosiery unit due to traffic jams and narrow openings as shopkeepers had lined their hosiery goods on the roads.

“Shopkeepers and their labour immediately cleared the way for the fire tenders, due to which we were able to reach the spot,” a firefighter said.

Shopkeepers seek installation of fire hydrants

Members of Wait Ganj Vyapar Mandal Association demanded that the administration and municipal corporation install fire hydrants in the old hosiery markets of the city.

Kapoor said, “Having fire hydrants in the market, will help douse fires immediately. The same demand had been raised by us after a three-storeyed hosiery unit on Lal Masjid Road in Wait Ganj area went up in flames in November 2019.”

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021