Chennai, May 31 (IANS) More than fifteen hours after a multi-storied textile showroom – Chennai Silks – here caught fire, fire service personnel on Wednesday were still battling to douse the flames.
Thick smoke continued to billow out of the building, putting the residents of the area to great discomfort.
“Eyes are irritating due to the smoke,” K. Srinivasan told IANS.
As the area was declared dangerous, other nearby shops were asked to down their shutters.
Pavement shops on that road too lost a day’s business due to the fire.
Around 50 fire tenders and around 150 fire service personnel are involved in the putting out the fire.
According to the police, the fire at the Chennai Silks showroom was noticed around 5 a.m. and fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
At least 11 employees who were staying at the shop were rescued and no casualties were reported.
The cause of the fire is said to be an electric short circuit.
Narrow roads and the absence of easy approach hindered the fire service personnel’s efforts to put out the flames early.
After battling the fire for several hours, the fire department officials decided to break open some walls with the twin objective of dousing the fire with water and also allow smoke to escape as it prevented the fire fighters from entering the building.
The stock-in-trade in the textile showroom is estimated to be worth several crore.
Speaking to reporters here, state Finance Minister D.Jayakumar said the owners of Chennai Silks will have to bear the expenses incurred in dousing the fire.
He said necessary action would be taken if there were any violation of building norms.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss in a statement said the violation of building norms is the main reason for the fire raging on long and fire service personnel not been being able to bring it under control.
Ramadoss said the fire-hit building has permission only for four floors but eight floors have been constructed.
He said the 2008 fire accident in Saravana Stores – another big showroom in T.Nagar locality – was also due to violation of building norms and demanded that the buildings that violate building norms be demolished.