Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Disaster averted at Forum Mall

Disaster averted at Forum Mall
DH News Service,Bangalore:
Alert staff at Forum Mall in Koramangala prevented a major fire mishap on Monday late evening, which could have turned Republic Day into a tragedy.

The incident occurred at around 6.20 pm at the exhaust chamber of the food court on fourth floor, where a cable caught fire and the flames began to spread rapidly. The food court employees who saw the fire immediately alerted the security and in turn, the fire force.

None injured

Four fire tenders were pressed into the service in no time and brought the fire under control. Public in the Mall, including those in the multiplex were evacuated from the spot immediately. There was no loss of life or injury in the incident. The damage caused is being ascertained.
Thick smoke and burnt smell of wire and plastic replaced the aroma of freshners and perfumes.
K G Chengappa, Director Fire and Emergency Service, who visited the spot, said the reason for the fire accident could be short circuit, but is yet to be ascertained.
He said that the building being equipped with suitable fire fighting equipment helped the fire department to control damages to a greater extent. The food court at the mall received most of the damage as one of the kitchen was on fire and the firemen fought for more than four hours to control it.
The smoke which spread through the aqua ducts filled the entire building making things difficult for the firemen as well as the security. The electric contractor who arrived on the spot advised the building management not to switch on the power until the area dries out completely.
The Adugodi and Jayanagar police, who rushed to the spot, evacuated the visitors to the mall. To avoid panic among the people, they ensured that all the ten exits, including the emergency exits, were kept open.
The police said that within 20 minutes the entire mall with a capacity of over 20,000 was empty.
Sensing the danger the neighbouring petrol bunk was closed temporarily, while many of the visitors had left behind their vehicles and returned only later in the night to take them back.
S Ravi, DCP south, Nissar Ahmed, IGP, Fire and Emergency Service, ACP Ramesh Chandra visited the spot.

From furnace

“We suspect that the fire broke out from one of the tandoori furnaces in the Food Court. We tried to take steps to defuse the situation. When we thought situation was going out of control we alerted the fire and emergency officials who rushed to the spot and put off the fire. By the time fire officials rushed we had evacuated public from the Mall. Fortunately, there is no damage to property except in and around kitchen area from where the fire broke out and no one was injured,” said Muhammad Ali, Head Forum Mall.


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