A massive blaze that engulfed a four-storey building in Kolkata's congested Colootola area around 30 hours ago is yet to be completely doused, with firefighters still toiling hard to put out pockets of flames, a senior official said today.
No casualties have been reported, but a few firemen are known to have sustained injuries during the course of the operation, he said.
A portion of the rear side of the building, which housed several small business establishments and storerooms, collapsed early on Tuesday morning, the fire department official said.
At least 10 fire tenders are struggling to put out the small pockets of fire.
"Last night, our officers, along with the help of locals and disaster management personnel, managed to bring the blaze largely under control. There are still some pockets of fire, and our personnel are making all efforts to douse them. It may take some more time," he stated.
Meanwhile, locals and shopkeepers from the area staged a demonstration in the morning, alleging that laxity on the part of the fire department led to the incident.
Fire department officials had said on Monday that heaps of garments and plastic materials that were stacked inside the rooms of the building helped spread the flames relatively faster.
Thirty fire tenders were pressed into service on Monday to contain the fire. A couple of blasts had also occurred in the building, likely because of the cooking gas cylinders stored inside.
"Not only are the lanes in the Colootala area narrow and dingy, the buildings, too, have no proper infrastructure. This slowed the firefighting operation and caused problems for us," a senior official of the fire department added.
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