A massive fire that erupted in a supermarket situated near Jail Chowrangi on Wednesday could not be put out completely even after 24 hours, it emerged on Thursday.

Talking to journalists, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) Chief Fire Officer Mubeen Ahmed confirmed that the superstore inferno is yet to be extinguished completely.

He maintained that the superstore is situated in a multi-story building and its basement was full of different things, including cooking oil, spray, air freshers, and others.

Mubeen Ahmed said that they used fire extinguisher balls, provided by the administration, to douse the fire, but they proved useless. He maintained that the fire in the basement of the superstore could be put out by the fluid.

Earlier, a senior fire officer, Arif Mansoori, said that there were flames in areas of the building and that smoke makes it impossible to enter buildings. However, 80% of the fire has been extinguished.

The fire broke out at 11 am in the warehouse of the superstore situated on Jail Chowrangi — a very busy street — officials said. The superstore is situated in a multi-story building and sees a lot of footfall every day. Thick smoke emanating from the fire engulfed the area, causing breathing problems for the people nearby.

As the fire broke out, a person who was rescued and shifted to a nearby hospital lost his life. Meanwhile, four people, including two firefighters, passed out.

However, despite continuous efforts and more than 18 fire brigades present at the site, the fire has not been doused.

According to fire brigade officials’ efforts are underway to stop the fire from spreading. Meanwhile, the process of controlling the fire will begin later.

Commenting on the reasons, they said that the firefighters were facing difficulty in extinguishing the fire due to the high intensity of the smoke and lack of ventilation.

It is worth mentioning that along with fire brigades, fire tenders of the Pakistan Navy are also trying to control the fire.

Meanwhile, an emergency has been declared on water board hydrants to ensure water supply.

Eyewitnesses say that the superstore administration did not try to put out the fire through their means, instead, they opted to exit the store and stand outside.

Fire officials also said that had the administration kept fire extinguishing equipment in-store, then the fire could have been controlled at an earlier stage.

Police officials said that the rescue workers had managed to evacuate all occupants of the residential building. Moreover, buildings around the supermarket building were also vacated.

Assistant commissioner Asma Batool said that the affected building has been declared at risk.

She said that attempts are being made to prevent any loss of life.

She stated that a request has been made for the nearby houses to be evacuated, and residents are instructed to remove only the necessities from their homes.

“Due to the amount of smoke in the structure, it is difficult to enter. Additionally, walls have been demolished to gain access to the impacted area, Once the fire is fully accessible, it will be contained,” she stated.

It is currently unknown how long it will take to extinguish the fire.

The building’s residents have filed a petition against the supermarket.

In an administrative order from Deputy Commissioner East to SSP East, SBCA declares the affected building to be dangerous.

The order stated: “the district administration and District Police are directed to cordon off the entire area to prevent the building from being hurdled in the fire fighting process as well as safety of the general public.”

It further stated that “no one except personnel/firefighters is allowed to enter till clearance by relevant authorities/till further order.”

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