Fire in Chennai supermarket, no loss of life (Lead)

September 1st, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 1 (IANS) A fire in Saravana Stores, a major supermarket in Chennai’s main shopping district T. Nagar, raged for over five hours Monday. The showroom’s management estimated the losses to cross Rs.15 million. No casualties were reported. “Seven fire tenders fought for over five hours to douse the flames,” police commissioner R. Sekar told IANS.

“Some firemen and employees of the outlet who tried to put out the fire have been rescued. There are no casualties,” Sekar said.

Sources close to the showroom’s management estimated that the losses due to the fire that broke out early Monday may cross Rs.15 million.

Three floors of the supermarket were ablaze in the fire that started at 5.30 a.m., eyewitnesses said.

“The stench from acrid smoke generated by burning artificial leather sofas and plastic furniture was nauseating,” N. Parasuraman, who had come to shop at the mart known for bargain prices, had said earlier.

A spokesperson of the store claimed that an electric short circuit caused the fire that was noticed almost an hour after it broke. Goods from other floors in the seven-storeyed building were removed.

“The fire began in the furniture department and spread to at least three other floors with similar goods,” a spokesperson of the company added.

“The fire could have been put out earlier had the store been in a broader street with better access. According to our information some of this showroom’s floors are illegal as are many of the buildings in this part of the city,” a fire services official said on condition of anonymity.

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