A six-storey office building was completely gutted following a major fire in Sector 44, near Huda City Centre, early on Tuesday. No injuries were reported in the incident.

More than 20 fire tenders were called into action to douse the fire. Fire department officials said that it took over two hours to get it under control, and nearly four hours to douse.

Assistant divisional fire safety officer, IS Kashyap, said that the fire is suspected to have started around 3am and that the building, which is privately owned, was not occupied at the time of the incident. “The security guard of the adjoining building came on his motorcycle and alerted the officials at the Sector 29 fire department about the incident at 3.21am. Two fire tenders were immediately sent to the spot,” said Kashyap.

Kashyap said that the two fire tenders reached the spot within three minutes as it was less than two kilometres from the station.

“When the first batch of vehicles reached the spot, the first three floors of the building had been completely engulfed in the fire and the firemen immediately realised that a large-scale operation was needed. Upon alerting us, three more fire tenders were sent from the Sector 29 fire station, two each from the Bhim Nagar, Udyog Vihar, Manesar, and Sector 37 fire stations, along with fire tenders from private companies such as DLF, Maruti, Medanta, as well as the Indian Air Force. A total of 20 fire tenders were used for dousing operations,” said Kashyap.

Fire officials said that due to the weather conditions, the blaze became difficult to control. “Although the building did not have any flammable objects inside, the wind speed was extremely strong at the time of the incident. The entire building was covered with glass panels. As soon as even one glass panel broke, the intensity of the fire increased rapidly with the gush of fresh air and it spread upwards, engulfing the floors above as well,” said Kashyap.

“We were in a situation where we didn’t know which floor of the building we should focus our resources on. The entire operation was extremely tricky and difficult,” he said.

Fire officials said that office items, electronic items, flooring, tiles and glass panels were completely gutted in the incident. “Our dousing operations ensured that the intensity of heat in the building remained under control, which ensured that it did not collapse. The owners had a valid no-objection certificate (NOC) and four of their hydrants were used for drawing water for the dousing operations, which lasted for nearly two hours. Subsequently, a fire hydrant from a nearby private hospital was also used for drawing water,” said Kashyap.

Kashyap said that a short circuit is suspected to have been the main cause of the fire.

As a precautionary measure, fire officials have kept a fire tender at the spot on standby until early Wednesday morning to extinguish any stray sparks that may occur.

Despite repeated calls, representatives of the building management could not be reached for comment.

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