Fire singes Power & Energy Deptt

Prompt and courageous action by firefighters averts major damage

Gangtok, 28 Nov:

Prompt and courageous action by Gangtok Fire Station saved government property worth crores from getting razed in a major fire incident here at Energy & Power Department Secretariat last night.

A major fire broke out in the mechanical division of the Energy & Power Department Secretariat. This level of the secretariat on the fifth floor also houses the store room of the department.

Gangtok Fire Station received information about the fire at around 11:30 PM on Tuesday night and a team led by Sub Fire Officer Shamsher Subba rushed to the spot and starting fire fighting operations.

Seeing the gravity of the situation, another team of Gangtok Fire Station led by Additional Chief Fire Officer Dadhiram Chettri rushed to the spot as well.

15 firefighters manning three fire tenders battled the blaze for five and a half hours and it was only towards 3:30 AM today that the fire was brought under control.

Speaking to media persons here today, Director, Fire & Emergency Services, Additional Director General Akshay Sachdeva, informed that firefighters faced difficulties as the fire took place at the fifth floor of the building.

He added that four rooms were completely gutted in the fire and two rooms were partially damaged, but further damage was averted due to the alertness and prompt action of the Gangtok Fire Station.

He mentioned that store of the department, which holds stationery items and was most affected and firefighters had to use tools and machines to break the wall to enter the room to extinguish the fire. In the effort, they also suffered from suffocation and breathing problems.

“Seeing last night problems and challenges faced while carrying out the operation, we would like to procure more breathing equipment for fire stations in the State to tackle such incidents in the future,” he said.

The Director stated that prompt and courageous action by Gangtok Fire Station team saved government property. He also informed that the nearby fire stations at Pakyong, Singtam and Rangpo were also alerted and kept on stand-by in case more assistance was required but the facilities at the Gangtok Fire Station proved adequate.

The cause of fire is still under investigation.

PCE cum Secretary KB Kunwar of Energy and Power Department mentioned that the incident was very major but promptness and efficient action by the fire fighters extinguished the blaze in time.

He also informed that although the fire was intense, the damage caused was repairable and that important files and documents were safe. He added that after investigating the cause of the fire and other procedures, the department will take up renovation and trace documents if any were destroyed in the fire.