Shoe store gutted in second fire in Begumpet building

HYDERABAD: A popular shoe store located at the ground floor of a commercial complex in Begumpet was gutted after a fire broke out early in the morning. Four fire tenders - three from Secunderabad and one from the Secretariat - were rushed to douse the flames, which is said to have erupted due to a short circuit. Firemen had to work for three hours to douse the flames and the extent of damage was said to be around Rs 3 lakh. Luckily, no one was injured.

This is the second time in a span of five months that a massive fire has broken out in Pooja Edifice Complex, which housed the showroom. In the earlier incident in March, fire broke out in the third floor and spread to the fourth floor, damaging a consultancy firm and an advocates' office.

After the previous fire, GHMC officials had noted that the complex had poor wiring and no fire safety equipment, including hosepipes and handheld fire extinguishers. The GHMC even ordered a special drive against fire safety violators, targeting mainly building owners who have not secured a no-objection certificate (NOC) from GHMC's fire safety wing. However, the officials failed to take any decisive action.

Incidentally, the fire department had declared Pooja Edifice Complex as fit for use following the March fire. However, the owner did not secure the NOC. When asked, fire department officials said the building owners failed to follow safety guidelines even after that.

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