LAHORE - Goods and valuables worth millions of rupees were reduce to ashes when a huge fire erupted in a four-storey building on Brandreth Road in the wee hours of Tuesday, police and rescuers said.
Firefighters say they believe the fire, which broke in a plastic factory godown and engulfed the entire building within minutes, was caused by short-circuiting. No loss of life, however, was reported in the incident.
The narrow streets, darkness, and vehicles parked on the roads leading towards the site hindered the rescue operation.
Eyewitnesses said that initially, the fire broke out inside a godown, where plastic toys for kids were placed in huge quantity. Also, the blaze badly damaged the building.
“I rushed outside to watch what happened as I heard a loud bang,” said Tanvir Khan, a nearby resident, who claims he was the first person to reach the spot after the blaze began.
“There were many small and large explosions and loud bangs. It seemed like a firework display as several loud crackles were heard after ever few seconds.”
Local residents told reporters that five to six manual workers were sleeping in the plaza when the blaze broke out. They were evacuated from the building safely and immediately. The some and fire flames were visible from a considerable distance.
The smoke from plastic burning badly affected the air quality in the entire locality, triggering enough pollution, irritating eyes, and causing breathing problems. Many nearby residents had to leave their houses instantly as the fire halted the inhalation.
After six hours-long hectic efforts, the firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze.
According to locals, there were no firefighting equipments fixed in the building to meet any emergency situation.
At least five fire brigade vehicles reached the spot after a considerable delay to launch the operation. But because of the fractured water-pipes and lack of adequate machinery, the rescue workers failed to start a full-fledged operation to extinguish the blaze.
The plaza which caught fire is said to be owned by Shamas Qayyum. The police are also investigating the incident.