A fire caused due to electric short circuit burnt down the storehouse of Birgunj Custom Office on Wednesday. Goods worth millions of rupees were gutted in the fire though no human casualties have been reported.
A team of Armed Police Force (APF), Nepal Police (NP), Nepal Army and a fire engine doused the fire after eight hours of continuous effort.
According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Dibesh Lohani, property worth Rs 500 million was destroyed in the fire. “The blazing fire which emitted thick smoke hampered our rescue mission. This is why it took us so long to bring the fire under control,” said Lohani.
The storehouse is 100 meters long and wide and 10 meters above the ground. The rescue team had used an excavator to demolish a wall of storehouse to save goods left untouched by the fire.
“Most of the goods stored here were imported. These included television and telephone sets, refrigerator, sound systems, cloths and few boxes of edible oil,” said Chief of National Trading Birgunj Office, Ram Krishna Upadhyay. National Trading Centre had leased the storehouse.
Police believe that the stored stock of oil had helped the fire to spread. Only on Tuesday, around 2,000 liters of Suryamoon oil and Palmalin was stored in the go-down.
“At around two in the morning, I smelt burning wires. Immediately after being alerted, I switched off the main MCB. In no time, the fire broke out from the South corner of the storehouse. Without any delay, I called the Armed Police Force (APF),” said Gambahadur Pariyar, a guard at the storehouse.
After receiving information about the fire, a team of APF led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ashok Kumar Bam had rushed to the fire site. “When we reached the storehouse, the fire had already engulfed the storehouse. However, we tried our best to douse,” said Bam.