A three-storey building of Primacy Industries Limited (PIL), one of the largest manufacturers of innovative, quality scented candles in the world, was gutted in an inferno Thursday night. No casualities were reported.
According to the information available, the fire in the production facility was first noticed by a security guard in the complex located at Baikampady Industrial Area, on the outskirts of Mangalore, at around 10.45 pm on Thursday. He quickly informed the authorities concerned and fire tenders were pressed into service.
However, more than 12 fire tenders could not extinguish the fire even after 12 hours of near continuous operation.
Fire tenders from Pandeshwar, Kadri, Moodbidri, Karkala, Bantwal, Puttur, Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd, New Mangalore Port Trust, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd and from Udupi were pressed into service. As the factory had cancelled night shifts recently, only a few workers were present in the factory at the time of the mishap.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chief Fire Officer H S Varadarajan said 14 fire tenders had been fighting fire ever since it broke out. “As a large quantity of wax is stored, it is very difficult to extinguish the fire as it keeps burning,” he said and added that they had decided to wait till the wax melted away completely.
“However, we will take precautionary measures so that the fire does not spread to neighbouring buildings,” he said and added that the 24 LPG cylinders stored in the basement had been shifted to safety amid the blazes.
As the news of the mishap spread, a large number of workers gathered at the factory. They were a worried lot as they watched their factory, which employed more than a 1,000 workers, turn to ashes.
Rs 50 crore loss
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Primacy Industries Limited president V K Talithaya said the accident had caused an estimated loss of Rs 50 crore.
“The cause of mishap will be known only after an investigation by officials,” he said and added that steps would be taken to re-build the factory at the earliest and employees would not be put to hardship.
Though the firm operates from Mangalore, it caters to some of the biggest stores in the US, Europe and the Middle East, including Wal-Mart, Dillards, Target, Tesco, Dollar Store, Michaels, Home Centre, Home Retail Group, Candle Artisan and others.
For Indian customers, the candles are sold under the brand name 'Ekam.'