A fire destroyed at least 25 godowns, where plastic and rubber material were stored, at a village in Thane district of Maharashtra in the wee hours of Monday, officials said.
No casualty was reported in the mishap, Thane civic body”s regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.
The fire broke out around 4 am following an explosion in an oxy-acetylene cylinder in one of the godowns, located in Dahisar-Mori locality of Uttarshiv village, and spread rapidly to other warehouses in the vicinity, Taloja MIDC fire station officer Deepak Dorugade said.
Five fire engines from Taloja, Panvel and Navi Mumbai areas managed to bring the flames under control after about four hours, Kadam said.
The godowns had stored the plastic and rubber material without proper permits, Dorugade said.
Around 2,000 godowns, mostly having tin sheds, are located next to each other in Uttarshiv and other neighbouring villages, restricting access of firemen in case of an emergency, he said.
“The godown owners also do not reveal the exact material stored in the warehouses, making it difficult for fire-fighters to put out the blaze,” he said.
After the cylinder explosion, firemen from Navi Mumbai”s CIDCO area reached the spot first and started the operation to douse the flames, averting a major tragedy, he said.
Dorugade said the godown owners generally do not co-operate with the firemen and also fail to make payments for these emergency services.