Fire at sanitiser manufacturing unit in Kherki Dhaula, no injuries reportedUpdated: May 23, 2020 23:25 IST
A major fire broke out on Saturday at a private company’s manufacturing unit in Kherki Daula with two floors of the three-storey building completely gutted. It took fire department officials nearly seven hours and more than 20 fire tenders to control the fire. No injuries were reported in the incident.
According to fire department officials, they received a call about the fire around 9.15 am. They said the fire took place at Stella Industries Limited which usually makes cosmetics, toiletries, personal care products among other such items but has been mainly involved in manufacturing hand sanitisers ever since the national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus disease was enforced on March 25.
IS Kashyap, assistant divisional fire safety officer, said the basement, ground, and first floor of the building were completely gutted in the fire, while the firefighters were able to contain the blaze on the second floor and most of the items there were saved. The three-storey building, located next to the Delhi-Gurugram Expressway, is spread across 12,500 square metres.
The extent of the blaze was such that more than 20 fire tenders from Gurugram, Manesar, Faridabad, and Noida were used in the dousing operations.
“The fire was largely controlled around 4pm and was confined to a section of the basement of the building where a lot of chemicals used in hand sanitisers were stored haphazardly. The chemicals used in making hand sanitisers are highly flammable due to which there were heavy smoke and sparks,” said Kashyap.
Kashyap said the fire is expected to douse completely around midnight. He said that since 4pm, 12 fire tenders were engaged in dousing the smoke and the flames inside the basement of the building.
Fire department officials said that they suspect the fire may have been caused by a short circuit or one of the machines used in processing the goods may have developed a snag leading to burnout and subsequently causing the fire. They said that the exact cause would be only determined upon thorough inspection of the site.
“We found slippers and shoes inside the building while controlling the flames which indicate that there may have been workers inside when the fire occurred. However, we have not been able to speak to the company officials so far to ascertain the same,” said Kashyap.
However, a police officer at the spot said that there were nearly 60-70 workers inside the building when the fire started but they all managed to flee unharmed.
The heavy cloud of smoke had caused panic among the locals in Kherki Daula village. Many shop owners shut their stores and residents who lived close to the spot left their homes and went to safer distances as a precautionary measure, said police officers.
Kashyap said the company had obtained a conditional No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire department as its building plan was pending approval.
Despite repeated calls on the contact number listed on the company’s website, there was no response from Stella Industries Ltd.
Last month, a hand sanitiser manufacturing company in Sector 37 had caught fire on April 26. No injuries were reported in that incident as well.