Hearth breaks out at chemical store in Tirupur market, rattles locals

Tirupur: A major fire in a shop selling chemicals used for making fireworks sent shockwaves among the shopkeepers and residents in the busy Old Bazaar Street and surrounding areas on Wednesday.
The 70-year-old shop, located on Eswaran Kovil Street in the heart of the city, had caught fire around 1pm. Seeing the huge flames, panicked shopkeepers and commuters ran for their lives. Shopkeepers in the area downed shutters immediately, K , who runs an adjacent shop, told TOI. “ Some of us jumped into a drainage channel to save ourselves,” he said.

Three water tenders from the south and north fire stations reached the place and extinguished the fire within 15 minutes.

No one was injured in the fire, including shop owner , police sources said. Nearby electric posts and transmission wires were damaged in the fire.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the shop was selling barium nitrate and potassium nitrate used for making fireworks. “The shop owner was arguing that the chemicals fall under non-explosive category and he was trading the goods, so, did not obtain license from the revenue, police and fire departments. As per the explosives Act, such shops should not be operated during night hours and should not install uninterruptible power supply system. But, the norms have been violated,” a police officer said.

The streets around and host a busy bazaar. After the incident, several people requested authorities to shift two shops, including a neighbouring shop that also sell the chemicals, from the place. “It may be the first time that such a major fire has happened here, but the shops pose a threat to our lives. So, the district administration should take action to shift the two shops that sell the same products on Eswaran Kovil Street,” urged Sakunthala Devi, a local resident.

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