Gangtok, 10 June:

A major fire broke out at the factory of Hidesign India Private Limited here at Adampool in East Sikkim this morning. It is suspected that a short circuit in the store containing combustible materials caused the fire. The factory, it is informed, was currently ill-equipped to handle a major fire incident like the one that took place today.

When the fire broke out at 10 a.m. the factory staff tried to control the fire using the six fire extinguishers that were kept at the unit. Their efforts proved largely inadequate in the face of the blaze and left one of the employees with minor burn injuries.

Eventually, it took three fire tenders and 18 fire personnel to bring the fire under control.

As soon as the Gangtok Fire Station received information about the fire, one fire tender rushed to the spot and immediately started the fire fighting operation.

When the fire refused to give up, one more fire tender from Gangtok Fire Station and another from Singtam Fire Station were called in to join the operation which lasted another 30 minutes.

The fire is reported to have broken out in the top floor of the factory and fire fighters managed to prevent it from spreading to other floors.

According to the Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Prakash Rai, six fire extinguishers are not enough for such a big structure with combustible materials.

He informs that the Department had recommended that a fire hydrant be installed at the facility for such an eventuality. It is informed that the factory was in the process of installing a hydrant and water tanks, but a fire struck them before such fire-fighting measures could be put in place.

The Gangtok Fire Station team was led by its Station Officer, Matthew Rai under the supervision of Gangtok FS Deputy Chief Fire Officer. The team from Singtam Fire Station was led by Sub Fire Officer, Sonam Lepcha. A team of Ranipool Police Station led by its SHO, Sabitri Pradhan, also assisted in the operation.