A major fire, which broke out at a 2,000-sq m godown of Britannia Industries in Dapoda, Bhiwandi, on Tuesday evening, continued unabated till Wednesday night, spreading to 10 other commercial shops in the vicinity. No casualties have been reported. Till Wednesday evening, the Bhiwandi Fire Brigade, which has been working overtime, used over two-and-a-half lakh litres of water to put out the fire.
Around 10 private water tankers were used to douse the flames. In addition to this, fire brigades from Thane, Ambernath, Ulhasnagar, and Kalyan-Dombivali were also pressed into action.
“The blaze is still strong because the ghee and oil used in the biscuit factory caused the fire to spread and it will take some time for the fire to subside. Till now, 10 water tankers and seven fire engines have been pulled in,” said D N Salvi, chief fire officer of Bhiwandi Fire Brigade.
The fire began in an 80-feet-by-30 feet Britannia biscuits godown and spread to 10 establishments, Salvi said. He added that the godowns in the area, which fall under the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), had flouted basic rules of fire safety, thereby causing difficulty during the cooling operations.
“Every godown must have a storage of one lakh litres of water in case of such emergencies. However, most of the establishments here do not follow this rule. It was very difficult to
control the initial spread of the fire, because there was no water available for it. While we eventually managed to get water from surrounding areas, along with our water tankers, if water was available at the spot when the
fire erupted, the damage would not have been so extensive,” Salvi said.