Thiruvananthapuram: Every other major fire that occurred in the heart of the city were triggered at either scrap yards that were not governed by rules or illegal godowns storing sacks or plastic. Almost all of them happen at night. Auto-ignition during summers, rivalry among scrap dealers careless handling of scrap and farsightedness of workers trigger fires, officers say. Reasons for these fires are rarely detected as pieces of evidence get vapourised during the blaze.
“During summer time, auto-ignition can trigger fires in scrapyards as some articles they collect are oily or flammable. The workers, mostly migrants, live and cook next to scrap which are not segregated but heaped up. These result in flash fires. There are no specific norms that govern scrap yards. Many of them do not have authorisation from City Corporation,” said a senior fire official.
The fires are common at Chalai, Aryasala, Kuryathi and Killipalam areas. It requires gallons of water and hours of human efforts to quell each fire. Exposed newsprints, cardboard, thermocol, sacks and plastic all add up to the blaze and sometimes gas cutter also add up to its intensity. “During Chalai fires, we have had shoe-bag godowns that caught fire. The short circuit might be a reason. These buildings have corporation's permits for shops, but they were being used as godowns. Similarly, a workshop having 30-40 bikes inside is not a small unit that can be exempted from fire safety precautions. Civic bodies should crack the whip,” he added.