The fire, which broke out at a paint warehouse on Hosur Road on Thursday, spread fast and caused extensive damage to the buildings as huge quantities of highly inflammable materials were stored there, said B K Hampagol, Technical Director, Fire and Emergency Services.
Within no time, the warehouse went up in flames and thick smoke billowed out of the building. Paints, which contain petrochemicals, stored in the warehouse fuelled the fire, he said. As the godown caught fire and the temperature soared, the air-tight paint tins exploded. Due to the sudden increase in the temperature, the material quickly reached the combustible point and this led to an explosion, Hampagol told Deccan Herald.
By noon, the fire spread to the adjoining two-storey building, which housed another paint warehouse and a garments factory. The fire in the adjoining building too could not be controlled immediately as highly inflammable material was stored there.
According to Hampagol, when the highly inflammable materials catch fire, the temperature would rise as high as 300 degree Celsius.
At this temperature, concrete, iron rods and other materials expand. When water is constantly poured on these materials, they contract. This expansion and contraction destabilise the building and results in its collapse.
Within an hour, the second building came down crashing. The two buildings that were brought down in the fire accident belong to Anand Reddy, a businessman. Reddy told Deccan Herald that he had rented out the two premises to Berger Paints India Ltd and a garments factory.
Fire and Emergency Service officials said that the building owner had not taken the mandatory fire clearance from the department. As the warehouse is situated in a crowded narrow lane, fire tenders had a tough time putting out the fire. The firemen used foam to douse it, but in vain.
Manjunath, an employee of the garments factory, told Deccan Herald that they noticed the fire around 9.50 am. Around 25 workers, who were in his factory, rushed to safety. The police and fire tenders evacuated people from all the neighbouring buildings and cordoned off the road.