A massive broke out at the Family Plastics godown and production unit located in Manavila Industrial Area Kazhakootam, Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday evening around 7 pm. The reason for the outbreak of the fire is not yet known. Speaking to TNM, Tony Joel, Secretary of Family Plastics said that the godown caught fire first, and spread quickly to the production unit on the first floor. Due to billowing winds and the highly flammable nature of plastic, another godown nearby, also belonging to Family Plastic, caught fire as well. Two residents of the locality were hospitalised due to suffocation caused by the acrid smoke.
Forty units of fire forces had to be brought in to contain the massive fire. District Fire Officer Abdul Rasheed K told TNM, â€śAttempts to doze off the fire started around 7.30 pm on Wednesday, and it was only around 2.30 am that were we were able to bring down the fire a little.â€ť As of 8 am on Thursday morning, the fire fighting forces were still trying to quell the fire which was still burning in some parts inside the building.
As it was huge amount of plastic that was burnt, the fire caused poisonous gases and the acrid smell of burnt plastic to be emitted, because of which people living within a one kilometre radius from the plastic unit were asked to vacate on Wednesday night. Thiruvananthapuram District Collector K Vasuki has declared holiday for the schools in the Manavila ward.
Fire Force technical officer R Prasad, who came to inspect the site of the fire at around 9 am on Thursday said to the reporters gathered there, â€śThe fire is completely under control now. By the time fire force arrived, it was completely on fire. Considering the severity of the fire by the time the fire force got here at around 7.30 pm, we are sure that the building caught fire before 7 pm. Of the 40 units of the fire forces deployed, two units were brought in from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), two units from Thiruvananthapuram airport, and two more units from Tamil Nadu.â€ť
He continued, â€śThe building which stored plastic was what caught fire first. That is why it became so huge. Our first aim was to make sure that the fire does not spread to other buildings. In the 29 years of my career, I've never had to handle a fire like this.â€ť
The estimated loss to Family Plastics is expected to be around Rs 500 crore. Tony said, â€ťWe'll only get the exact amount after we take a detailed analysis of the stock later on.â€ť