Fire in the mall

Alert fire personnel avert major mishap

 
No one was injured, but the scene could have been tragic had the firemen not noticed the blaze from the fire station, which is diagonally opposite to the mall. The fire had broken out in the mall employees’ cafeteria-cum-storage space on the sixth floor. A short circuit had triggered the fire at around 6.45 pm.

According to a fire personnel who was a part of the team to extinguish the fire, one of the personnel on duty had first noticed the rising flames. The Fire and Emergency Services immediately called the mall, which did not elicit a response. Six fire tenders were already rushed to the spot, by the time the mall staff informed the Fire Station. The fire personnel struggled for an hour to put off the fire. Within minutes, panicked customers rushed out and the mall was totally deserted. 

The sixth floor also housed the air condition control and exhaust fans. Charred remains on the floor and dripping soot told a story of extensive damage. The staircase to the top floor was cluttered with heaps of damaged material. All establishments in the mall, including a usually crowded pub and a restaurant were vacated. No information was made available about the extent of loss. 

Excessive heat

According to the Fire Station officials, the blower room had caught fire due to excessive heat. This eventually led to a short circuit. The  management maintained that the loss due to the fire was minimal and there were no casualties or injuries.
The Fire Station officials said the mall had been under scrutiny for converting its terrace into a holding area for their advertising material. “Two years ago we had addressed a letter to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to look into the illegal construction of the sixth floor in Central Mall,” informed IGP, Fire and Emergency Services, P S Sandhu.

The IGP further appealed to the Palike to look into those buildings that are illegally constructed and ensure that such tragedies are not repeated. However, the mall representatives denied any knowledge of the illegal construction.

Mediapersons assaulted

As mediapersons entered the sixth floor to get a clearer view of the damages, they were assaulted by the Mall security and asked to vacate. The incident caused high drama and tension as water was sprinkled on cameras and media personnel to disperse them. The mall security initially tried to forcefully vacate the media from the premise.

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