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Govt staffer dies, 6 injured in fire at Triplicane lodge
A 51-year-old man suffocated to death, while six others were admitted to hospital with breathing problems after a fire broke out at a lodge in Triplicane on Wednesday night.
The deceased N Aravidhan of Melur in Madurai district was a government employee at Tamil Nadu Minerals Ltd on Kamarajar Salai and was holding the position of Deputy Manager. He is said to have been staying at the lodge Peace Park Inn for about four years on monthly rent.
The incident happened around 11 pm and smoke started emanating from the main electrical panel on the first floor of the lodge on the Big Street in Triplicane.
Passers-by noticed the smoke billowing out from the three-storey building and alerted the staff on the ground floor. They tried to put out the fire but in vain after which the fire control room was alerted. Since the Fire and Rescue Services personnel from Triplicane station had been sent to Vanagaram to attend a fire accident there, fire personnel from Egmore and Mylapore rushed to the spot and rescued people who were stuck inside.
But since the smoke had spread to the entire first floor and into the rooms where guests had been staying, it proved difficult for fire personnel to carry out the rescue operation. While all 24 occupants including a child were safely evacuated, seven of them who complained of breathing difficulty were rushed to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.
Aravindhan, who was unconscious when he was rescued, was declared brought dead. Triplicane police have registered a case and even as a short circuit is suspected to have caused the fire, an expert team studied the building to ascertain if there is any other reason for the accident.
“There are 54 rooms in the lodge and the fire was controlled before it spread to the first and second floor,” said a police officer.
It may be recalled that a scrap godown in Vanagaram near Maduravoyal was gutted on Wednesday evening after a major fire. The godown was partly used to store the furniture used in movie shoots, while the other part was filled with scrap. The fire started around 3 pm and as many as 15 fire tenders from Ambattur, Maduravoyal and Koyambedu were pressed into service. However, the entire godown was gutted before the fire was controlled on Thursday morning. None was injured in the accident.