In the building ‘there were cans of materials to refill lighters’

In the building ‘there were cans of materials to refill lighters’

The fire in Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar area quickly spread to nearby buildings because there were chemicals stored in them.

Lieutenant colonel SM Zulfiqar Rahman, director (training, planning and development) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said this while speaking to journalists after visiting the spot on Friday.

“Many of the cans contained perfume while some even had materials to refill lighters,” said Zulfiqar, a member of the 11-men committee formed by the Dhaka South City Corporation to look into the causes of the fire and plan the next course of action.

Professor Mehedi Ahmed Ansari, a teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and another member of the committee, said the ground floor of Wahid Mansion and the beams and columns of its second floor have been affected.

“Some tests need to be carried out to ascertain whether the building runs the risk of crumbling down.”

When asked if the building had fire extinguisher, he replied in negative.

He further said that there were not enough space for the stairs although the building was built on 10 kathas of land.

Nuruzzaman Zahir, authorised officer of Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha, said they were yet to check if the building had necessary permits.

At least 81 people were killed and 41 others injured in a devastating fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through four other adjacent buildings in the city's Chawkbazar area on Wednesday night.