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Chennai Fire! Firemen’s Unwillingness – Heights of Inefficiency and Non-Cooperation

It has been reported that the fire at the Chennai Silks building in Chennai was not put out for two days. And most educated citizens in India and the world over kept wondering – how on earth in this day and age a fire could be raging for two days in a row!

Well the answer is here. It turns out that during the initial few critical hours, the firemen were simply unwilling to work on it.

The Chennai Silks reported the fire at 4 am. The firemen showed up at 4.30 am! One wonders – if the firemen want to travel so slowly, then perhaps the sirens on the fire-engines are only for fun and entertainment?

After the inexplicable and unacceptable delay, the firemen said “We don’t have diesel – ask your people to get it for us”! And the Chennai Silks people obliged.

The firemen were even unwilling to change the direction of the fire-engine so that the water hoses can be used.

Finally when they started hosing down the fire, and the first tank of water was used up, they said “We have no more water. Ask your men to get two lorry-loads of water!” And the Chennai silks folks obliged.

With all these unnecessary delays, the fire was becoming larger in area.

Then the Chennai silks people, who were at the spot, thought that foam is what should be used to extinguish fire instead of water. (For the kind information of the readers, it is true that a foam mixture, called fire-fighting foam, is the preferred method to douse certain kinds of fires.) And someone on Chennai silks team said that such fire-fighting teams exist in the Madras Airport. Soon the Chennai Silks people made a phone-call to the airport and a fire-engine with fire-fighting foam arrived on the spot.

Now the local firemen denied entry to the airport fire-engine! This went on for 30 minutes.

The Chennai Silks administration says that the fire became uncontrollable only because of the callousness, inefficiency and “neediness” of the fire-fighting team.