The Financial Express

Cumilla Fire Service ill-equipped to fight blaze in high-rises

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
A partial view of the Cumilla city	— FE Photo A partial view of the Cumilla city — FE Photo

CUMILLA, Nov 24: Cumilla Fire Service and Civil Defence is not well-equipped to fight fire incidents in buildings more than seven-storey.

High-rises in Cumilla city are at high risk of fire incidents. Hundreds of high-rises have been erected in the city without considering the safety of residents in case of any fire incident.

With the advent of the dry season, residents of the buildings are becoming worried because if any fire incident occurs, firemen will not be able to cope with the situation for shortage of equipment as well as water as there are not enough ponds and water bodies beside the buildings.

Residents of Cumilla City said fire service department here has the capability to control fire maximum in seven- storey high rises.

However, more than a few hundred high-rise buildings have been constructed in the city beyond the fire extinguishing capacity of Cumilla Fire Service.

Most of the high rises in the city are of 12 to 15 storied buildings which were built violating building codes, it is alleged.

Most of these buildings are being used for residential purposes. Due to lack of adequate water supply, accidents in high- rises in the current dry season will result in a serious disaster.

Local sources said there are hundreds of high-rise buildings in various areas of the city including Kandirpar, Rani Bazar, Bagichagaon, Racecourse, Jhautala, Fojdari, Adalot Para and Padua bazaar.

High rise buildings have also been constructed beside narrow streets of these areas. Two rickshaws can't even pass together through these narrow lanes. In case of any fire incident firefighters won't be able to enter these areas. Besides, many of these high-rise buildings have been built on dighis and ponds filled with sands leaving no water bodies. As a result, the immediate supply of water will be difficult if any fire incident happens in those buildings.

Prannath Saha, deputy director of Cumilla Fire Service and Civil Defence said with the firefighting equipment available with them rescue operation will be possible in buildings up to seven storied. If there is a fire in a building higher than seven storied, members of the fire service will have nothing to do other than standing up as mute spectators and pray to the Almighty Allah, he added.

Cumilla Deputy Commissioner Md. Abul Fazal Mir said, "We have given letter to the authorities concerned to increase the capacity of the fire service and civil defence in order to keep the damage to a minimum level by conducting rapid rescue operations in the event of a fire accident in Cumilla high rises.

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