LAHORE: Civil and military firemen battled for 12 hours today [May 21] to control the fire which raged in the two basements of the 11-storey WAPDA House, provincial capital’s costliest building.

The fire, which gutted paraphernalia in the three rooms of the basement, housing audit office, photo section, Public Relations Office and a building material store, was detected at 3 a.m. and put out at 3 p.m.

Extent of the damage to the Rs four crore building constructed four years ago could not be immediately assessed as both the basement and the sub-basement, housing the car park, were inaccessible due to smoke, fumes, and stinking smell left by the fire. A spokesman for the PR Wing of the Water and Power Development Authority described the damage as “not much”. According to him, an official inquiry would be held tomorrow.

No casualty was reported as a result of the fire.

[Meanwhile, as reported by our correspondent in Lahore,] With nine more dead counted today [May 21], the total of those killed in yesterday’s ammunition explosion on the outskirts of Lahore Cantonment rose to 23. The number of those who received injuries stands at 79.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020