Cuncolim: A fire broke out early Thursday afternoon at a fibre boat building factory located at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate.
The firefighters, who rushed to the spot, first rescued several employees working in a nearby factory as a precautionary measure.
Though the fire department hasn’t estimated the loss, it is likely to be over Rs 2 crore.
The fire that broke out early afternoon saw the Margao fire station responding with two fire tenders as it also called for a backup from the Curchorem and Verna fire stations.
Eventually, it took a total of 12 fire tenders to control the fire, over a couple of hours.
Speaking about the rescue operation, deputy director (Fire) Nitin Raikar praised the firefighters for the efforts put in.
“When we reached the site within 15 to 20 minutes of the call, we saw workers doing motor winding work in the nearby factory, and first rescued them. Once they were rescued, we continued with the fire fighting efforts using foam and water products. The remaining tenders responded and helped in the fire extinguishing efforts. A total of 12 fire tenders were pressed into service and 35 personnel were involved in the rescue efforts,” said Raikar.
Five newly built boats, two of three boats that were being built and around 40 boats that were in the process of being repaired were destroyed in the fire.
Half of the machinery in the work area was also destroyed in the fire.
Raikar said that the extent of loss could not be ascertained, and added that they would begin investigating the incident for the cause of fire. He also said that as per his knowledge, the factory was not been given a fire NOC.
“As per my knowledge, no fire NOC was given, but I’ve asked the owner to bring all the documents he has for further investigation. This factory being one that uses highly flammable material should be having the permissions,” he added.
Eyewitnesses from the village, who were stunned by the fire, called for better fire fighting facilities at the industrial estate.
“Cuncolim doesn’t have a fire station, and the IDC’s pumps are also not working. IDC should have a fire force of its own. If there was one, this much damage would not have suffered by the factory today,” said a local. [NT]