Fire destroys footwear worth lakhs of rupees

However, no casualties were reported in the accident that occurred on the first floor of Reliance Footprint on 80 Feet Road, Koramangala 5th Block.

An electrical short-circuit is said to have triggered the fire. Police said Reliance Footprint had taken on lease two floors of the four-storey building where footwear and leather goods were stored.

Around 1 pm, smoke started spreading across the first floor. The two floors had a centralised air-conditioning facility and there were no windows. Around 45 people, including the staff and customers, were on the first floor. The outlet was not so crowded as it was lunch hour, police said.

A few employees noticed the smoke and went upstairs to check what was happening. They immediately rushed back as thick smoke had covered the entire floor, and alerted the police and the fire and emergency services, who rushed to the spot.

“It was around 1.35 pm when we received a call. We immediately pressed 16 fire tenders into service along with 120 personnel. The outlet staffers had rushed out by the time our men arrived. They immediately took positions to extinguish the fire,” B K Hamppagol, Deputy Director (Technical), Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services, told Deccan Herald.
The biggest challenge for the fire force staff was to gain entry into the first floor as there were no windows. They placed a ladder, moved up to the entrance of the first floor from outside, broke open the glass with hammers and cutters and then moved in. “The glass was thick and it took nearly half an hour to break it open,” he added.

No NoC, rules violated
The building is 15 metres tall and falls under the high-rise category. It was constructed six years ago. The owner had not only not obtained a no-objection certificate from the fire department, but also violated norms of the National Building Code. There were no fire safety equipment inside, said a fire force officer.

Deepak, Operations Head, Reliance Footprint, said the first two floors were taken on lease. The outlet owner owns a few other buildings in the same stretch,” he said and refused to comment further. More than 1.30 lakh litres of water was used to douse the fire.

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