THE fire that broke out yesterday in a chemical warehouse at Multan Road in Lahore and turned into a virtual inferno engulfing the premises in just seconds, is no laughing matter. Nor are the fire incidents at two other places in the city. The warehouse went up in flames at noon. Such was its intensity that fire fighters were not able to control it the entire night. An unfortunate boy was caught unawares by the approaching flames and died and some workers sustained serious injuries. Indeed such horrific incidents have become quite common. It sends a chill down ones spine when one recalls the deadly Karachi fire earlier in the year, gutting dozens of huts and claiming 40 lives - 22 of them children. What is even more shocking is that despite assurances, nothing concrete has been done to check illegal commercialisation, with even factories and warehouses springing up in urban centres. The factory on Multan Road is situated in the midst of a heavy cluster of population. Though the fire was contained within the factory premises, the people around were on edge fearing that the fire might spread to another factory there. Some families even moved to less dangerous parts of the city. The question remains: what have the authorities done to shift such dangerous warehouses away from the houses and colonies? As it is, there are hundreds of illegal CNG refilling stations right in the middle of human settlements. Newspapers keep reporting of occurrences due to dangerous business activities amidst population centres. It is time the government strictly implemented its own laws about the location of commercial activity and carried out an operation against illegal commercialisation and punished the guilty. Only a stiff action would relieve the public of the ever looming dangers.