Non functional hydrants cause huge loss in Shimla fire

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Shimla, Jan 2 (UNI) A two-storey building gutted in a fire in Kasumpati locality of the state capital yesterday could have been saved if had not been for non functional fire hydrants and low water pressure, a fire department report said today.

Besides, non functional hydrants, the loss in the fire could have been minimised had there been enough ''water pressure'', a report submitted to department said.

Yesterday, property worth lakhs of rupees was gutted in a fire in a two storey building here that was followed by blasts in two gas cylinders, though no loss of life was reported in the incident.

The report said two fire brigade vehicles reached the site within no time after the fire broke out and the fire fighters made a valiant effort to control the fire.

However, after the water in these two vehicles was exhausted, the fire fighters resorted to the nearby fire hydrants for water requirement, but it took over 45 minutes for these ''rusted'' hydrants to be opened, it said.

The report further added that there was no ''pressure'' in these hydrants to fling the water even as the fierce fire razed the entire structure to the ground.

Fire Service and Home Guard, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) B S Thind said, there was no delay on the part of fire tenders.

''As soon as we received the information, seven fire vehicles were pressed into the service along with 35 personnels.

Despite two gas cylinders blast after the fire broke out, they were successful in pulling out 17 other gas cylinders risking their lives,'' he added.

The department had conducted a ''fire drill'' in the area a few months ago and submitted a report to the Shimla Municipal Corporation saying that out of the 29 fire hydrants, 11 were non functional since these were buried under the muck.

UNI AS PS SP KP2234

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