Even before the gruesome fire accident that had claimed as many as 95 lives of the school children at Kumbakonam in South Tamil Nadu about a decade ago could die down from our memory, the recent similar news that a major fire at AMRIT hospital in Kolkata in which 89 patients were charred to death and equal number suffered burns, rocked the entire nation!
Fire, as they say, is a good servant as long as it is under control, but a bad master when goes out of control. Considering some factors, the school fire before and the hospital fire on the first week of Dec. 2011, attribute to some glaring lapses on the part of the concerned.
The school had no fire escape route! Nor were there any fire extinguishers! And the teachers there had no knowledge about fire safety. If so, how the Fire & Rescue Service in TN State had given Fire Safety Certificate to the school is best known to them! And in the hospital fire case, the Fire Tenders could not reach the site on time. That was because the approach route to the hospital was so narrow that they could not even
Maneuver the vehicle. Thus, the process of battling the blaze was delayed by 90 valuable minutes! How disgraceful and dreadful it was to our nation!
Political bigwigs visiting the site, expressing the readymade phrases like, “Shocked,” “Gruesome” and “Unfortunate,” announcing ‘compensation to the kith and kin of the victims – all these routine process irks the citizens.
Many do not know what it means when they say that, “Fire is under control.” It means that the fire is not completely put out. It is still raging, however, kept under control without spreading further. In order to ensure this, the adjacent places and objects whatsoever, are doused. It is the usual practice the Fire Service adopts.
Fires are different kinds, and hence different extinguishers are to be used. Never use water for electrical fire.