Fire hydrant kept water flow continuous, helped prevent mishap: Firefighters

The high-rise buildings and commercial complexes are supposed to have a fire hydrant system large pipes painted in red which go around the building and are linked to a large sump of water.
Fire hydrant kept water flow continuous, helped prevent mishap: Firefighters
Firefighters brought the blaze under control in two-and-a-half hours

Chennai: According to officers of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS), the fire hydrant system at the hospital premises played a crucial role in controlling the blaze sooner before it could spread to the other floors at the RGGGH.

“We had about 14 fire tenders, and 10 water tankers also reached the spot. There’d be a gap of a few seconds while changing the water supply from one vehicle to another which would have delayed controlling the fire. But with the hydrant system in place, we had a continuous supply of water which helped to douse the fire in about an hour,” said an officer, who was part of the operation.

The high-rise buildings and commercial complexes are supposed to have a fire hydrant system — large pipes painted in red — which go around the building and are linked to a large sump of water. In case of a major fire accident, water is pumped from the sump and the system helps pump water upto to the eighth floor from the ground.

The officer also said that the capacity of the water storage in RGGGH is 6 lakh litres. “It took at least 2 lakh litres, in addition to a lakh from fire engines to gain control of the accident,” the official pointed out. “It took two-and-a-half hours to complete the operation.”

The fire hydrant system at RGGGH is of wet-riser type, which is automatic and would pump the water as soon as the pipes are connected. The public works department periodically inspects the system. The Corporation refills the sump whenever there is a drop in storage.

The fire broke out in a three-storey building that’s over 160 years old. While the ground floor had the storeroom and billing centre, the floors on top had other medical departments and patients.

The staff at the billing centre noticed smoke coming out of the storeroom and put it off with the help of extinguishers. While they thought it was over, the fire started again after which the fire control room was alerted.

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