LAHORE - Electronic items, laptops, mobile devices and other valuables worth millions of rupees were reduced to ashes in dozens of shops when a fire broke out in Hafeez Centre, Gulberg area, here on Sunday, due to electric short-circuiting. 

According to Rescue-1122 spokesman, the fire erupted inside a shop on the second floor and spread across the plaza in no time.

On receiving information, Rescue-1122 teams rushed to the scene and started rescue operation. Firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire for several hours, with little success till filing of the report in Sunday evening.  About 20 teams of the fire brigade and 70 rescue officials were taking part in the operation. Eight out of 12 teams had reportedly run out of water. The authorities had called more fire brigade units to the location.

Gulberg’s Main Boulevard was blocked for traffic to continue the fire extinguishing activities. Deputy Commissioner Lahore Muddasir Riaz Malik, CCPO Lahore and other senior officers reached the site and inspected the rescue operation themselves. 

The DC Lahore told the media that firefighters had been successful in bringing the fire “under control significantly”. 

DC says rescue officials successful in bringing fire ‘under control significantly’

The Rescue-1122 spokesperson said that 85 per cent of the fire control process had been completed, and the cooling off process was under way currently. He said at least 25 people were rescued successfully and shifted to safety from the top floor of the plaza. He said no loss of human life or any injuries to people were reported. 

The authorities said the initial investigation showed that the fire broke out due to short-circuiting. However, a definite reason would be ascertained after thorough investigation. Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Agha was also present at the site of the rescue operation.

Health minister visits Hafeez 

Centre after fire incident

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid reached Hafeez Centre Gulberg after a fire incident there and monitored the rescue work on Sunday.  Talking to the media, she said the Rescue-1122 teams were making all-out efforts to control the fire. She said Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had taken notice of the incident and an Investigation committee would probe the incident, ascertain the causes and fix the responsibility. The minister urged all business owners to cooperate with the Rescue teams. 

The health minister reached the spot on the direction of the Chief Minister and sought report from the officials about the incident. 

Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Agha and senior officials of the government accompanied her. Deputy commissioner Lahore Mudassar Riaz Malik and DG Rescue 1122 Dr Rizwan Nasir gave a detailed update to the minister on the measures taken to control the fire.