VISAKHAPATNAM: A fire broke out in the working women’s hostel (Safe Hands Ladies Hostel) near Asilmetta Junction under III Town Police station limits in Vizag city at around 1.30 am on Saturday. As 20 of the total 40 inmates in the hostel were awake at the time of the incident, they could alert others and everybody was safe. There were no injuries and causalities in the fire mishap.
The fire, which started on the top floor of the commercial complex, was the result of a short circuit in the ceiling fan of a room. The fire service personnel observed that the management of the hostel had ignored fire safety norms and had been running the hostel at the cost of the inmates. There were 40 women (students and working women) inside the hostel when the fire broke out. Few of them saw smoke emanating from the ceiling fan’s motor and alerted the management of the hostel. After a few minutes, the fan fell down on the coir mattress, which went up in flames leading to the fire mishap. The inmates in the hostel alerted the police and fire service personnel before evacuating the building.
“Our property such as liquid cash, some certificates, clothes and few others gutted in the fire mishap,” recalled one of the inmates with a choked voice.
The fire mishap was the result of the negligence of hostel management and police and fire service personnel did not respond in time to mitigate the damage, they alleged. Dismissing the allegation of the victims, Fire Inspector, N. Gopikrishna said that they saved the lives of the inmates with timely action by controlling the fire.
“We will serve notices to the management of the hostel for violating all the safety norms and running the hostel without obtaining NOC from the fire department,” he said. Demanding action against the management of the hostel, the inmates on Saturday staged a protest.