Kolkata: Panic gripped Kolkatans on the first
day of the year after a fire broke out on the seventh floor of
a multi-storied building in the posh Park Street area here but
no one was injured.
Amid new year celebrations, flames were detected at around
noon on Sunday from the server room of Kotak Mahindra office at Apeejay
House after which ten fire tenders were pressed into service
bringing the blaze under control within a couple of hours,
fire brigade officials said.
There was no report of any casualty or injury as all
offices were closed due to Sunday, they said, adding the exact
cause of fire was yet to be known.
Panic struck after some TV channels reported that smokes
were billowing from the basement of the building, which also
houses a portion of the adjoining Park Hotel.
Later, firemen described the reports as incorrect.
A spokesperson of the Apeejay Surrendra Group said
that the fire was noticed by the building`s security personnel
who switched off electricity and called the fire brigade,
which reached within 10 minutes.
The building has a full-fledged fire hydrant system which
was used by the security staff to handle the blaze and
extinguish it quickly, he said.
Incidentally, the building is located near the landmark
British-era Stephen Court building, which was devastated by a
major fire last year that claimed 43 lives.
Last month, a deadly blaze had ripped through the AMRI
Hospital in the city, claiming 93 lives.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered
identification of all "illegal" constructions in the
metropolis, flouting original building plans.
"I have also asked the Disaster Management Minister to see
if fire fighting arrangement is in store specially in all
multi-storied buildings. Action will also be taken in case of
non-implementation of fire fighting norms," Banerjee said
after a high-level meeting with some ministers and officials.
Giving the example of Apeejay House, she said the building
has the mandatory open space around it as a result of which
controlling the fire was much easier and helped avert another
"Multi-storied buildings should have many exit options for
rescue operation during emergencies," she said.