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ISLAMABAD: The fire that broke out in the Foreign Office building on Saturday night partially damaged around 50 old files.

The fire erupted in the record room at the ground floor and senior officials of the Foreign Office rushed to the place to supervise the fire extinguishing operation.

“Apparently, the fire broke out because of an electric short circuit, but no injury was reported and we extinguished the fire within 10 minutes,” said Zafar Iqbal, the Chief Fire Officer of Metropolitan Corporation, Islamabad.

Talking to Dawn, firefighters said that the fire broke out in a room where old files were kept, apparently due to the short circuit. They said that around 50 files were partially damaged by the fire.

“Our staff already deputed there controlled the fire and in the meanwhile, two fire tenders also reached there; then we extinguished the fire,” said a firefighter. He said that the directorate of emergency and disaster management of MCI also visited the building last week to inspect the firefighting arrangements.

“In the next few days we will write our report,” he said, adding that fire alarm system installed in the building is obsolete and not working as it had been installed there decades ago. “Now, modern fire systems are available in the market, which identify the exact place of fire and we will recommend installation of that system at the Foreign Office and other government buildings,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2019