300 tonnes of biscuits gutted as warehouse in Bhiwandi goes up in flames

Published: Oct 31, 2013, 08:59 IST | Richa Pinto |

It took officials 3 lakh litres of water and several fire engines to douse the flames, which erupted owing to a short circuit in the storeroom

Around 300 tonnes of biscuits were charred and reduced to ashes when a major fire erupted at a 27,000-square feet large warehouse of a well-known biscuit company in Dapode village of Bhiwandi. The fire broke out on Tuesday at 7 pm and took officials at least a day to douse the flames.

Tough task: Fire officials said that the plastic wrappers made it difficult for them to douse the flames. It took authorities almost a day to douse the flames and it will take another day or two to cool the unit down. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The flames engulfed the warehouse, located at Indian Corporation compound, Bhiwandi, owing to a short circuit. Fortunately, there were no human casualties. Officials said that the fire occurred owing to a short circuit and then quickly spread from the ground floor to the first floor, which housed a clothes warehouse.

TN Salvi, chief fire officer of Bhiwandi, said, “It took close to three lakh litres to douse the flames. Looking at the current scenario, it will take two to three days to cool down the area. Since these biscuits have high content of ghee and butter and additionally wrapped in plastic, the fire kept spreading and also made it that much harder for us to put out.”

He added, “We had to call for four water tankers -- each containing around 7,000 litres of water -- from Bhiwandi. Additionally, since there was a single entrance to the warehouse, we struggled even more.”

Police officials present at the area said that since the fire was spread across such a vast area, additional help had to be called in from Thane, Ambernath, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan and Dombivli.

Inspector DV Jangle from Mankoli police station in Bhiwandi said that an FIR had been registered in the case and they were investigating the matter further. “Since the fire has not even been doused out completely, it is preliminary to comment on it. We are investigating the matter.”

Sufal Kamat, senior manager at the warehouse, said that the biscuits would be transported to Goa, Gujarat and even to Rajasthan on occasion. He said, “We have 20 fire extinguishers in the warehouse but they were probably not sufficient considering that the fire had spread across a vast area covering thousands of square feet of area. Since the warehouse is only a storage plant mostly labourers and supervisors are present, loading and unloading biscuits. At any given time, there are around 300 tonnes of biscuits in the warehouse.”

3 lakh Amount of water (in litres) required to douse the flames

50 Number of fire officials working in three shifts at the site

20 Number of fire extinguishers in the warehouse 

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