A major fire broke out at Saraf House, close to the Raj Bhavan area, on Wednesday causing severe traffic disruptions and panic among employees of different office buildings beside the fire-ravaged multistoried house. No major casualty was reported so far in the incident apart from a security man of the building sustaining minor injuries.
The fire was spotted first in a canteen in the top floor of the Saraf House in BBD Bag during office hours at 10 am and was brought under control around 2 pm. A 55-metrelong ladder along with 14 fire engines and a skylift was also used for prompt operation to douse the flames.
Black smoke billowing out of the affected building engulfed the entire area which is also a hub of many office spaces. The Governor CV Ananda Bose came out of the Raj Bhavan, hardly 200 metres away from the building soon after he came to know about the incident.
He was found supervising the operation for about oneand-a-half hours on the spot. While speaking to the reporters, Mr Bose said, “Police have done a good job. Doctors and other staff of Raj Bhavan have also cooperated with them.” Chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee also rushed to the spot and supervised the firefighting operation there.
“Fire brigade men have done excellent work to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible,” the chief minister told the reporters.
Mr Sujit Bose, fire minister and Vineet Goyal, commissioner of police, also reached the spot within an hour after the fire broke out in the building. Several gas cylinders burst, one after another, after the fire spread.
Eyewitness said that at least four gas cylinders burst, leading to the flames. The fire brigade minister said, “Initially, 10 engines were deployed to douse the flame.
But four more were also pressed into service later, considering the situation. “An inquiry would be conducted to probe the incident,” he said. The Kolkata Police have also started a thorough probe into the incident.
Meanwhile, the local councillor alleged about illegal constructions in the building. Responding to the allegations, the mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation pointed out, “If the councillor was aware of the illegal construction, why didn’t he complain about it to KMC? However, I will check at KMC about the matter.”