LAHORE: A fire broke out in an electronic factory on Ferozepur Road on Saturday burning machinery and raw material. The fire which erupted first at the refrigerator section of the PEL factory was curtailed in a three-hour operation. Thick black smoke could be seen from a long distance from the fire site. No loss of life or injury was reported in the fire.

“The fire erupted in the refrigerator section of the factory which spread fast to other areas due to the huge stock of plastic goods and other raw material,” PEL Finance Director Manzar Hassan told Dawn.

He said though the fire was not so alarming, the dense black smoke panicked the people a lot.

“The fire left no big loss to us, though it burnt a huge stock of raw material and also burnt partially some machines,” he said.

He said the cause of the fire was apparently short-circuiting but fire hydrants installed at each portion of the factory helped a lot to curtail it.

“Our staff used fire hydrants installed on the premises and curtail it till the arrival of the Rescue 1122 staff,” Mr Hassan said.

The construction design of the factory also helped a lot to prevent a big loss, he said.

PEL is one of the major factories in the country manufacturing electronics, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. A factory employee said the fire started at the assembly line of the particular section. He said when the fire broke out, 500 workers were present in the particular unit. A majority of them left the premises shortly after they saw flames while some others who got trapped were rescued by Rescue 1122.

Rescue 1122 officer Mohammad Shahid said as soon as his department received the call regarding a fire at the factory at around 9:50am, they dispatched 25 vehicles to the site. Mr Shahid said the fire broke into a unit due to huge stock of inflammable material. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar sought a report from the district authorities about the fire.

The Punjab government has set up a committee to probe into the fire incident.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021

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