ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: A fire caused huge damage to the top floor of a commercial building at Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, which housed offices of private companies, witnesses said.
However, there was no report of injury or evacuations from the adjacent buildings. A senior official of the district administration said about 45 per cent of the building`s top floor was gutted.
The fire was reported at 8.45pm in the Beverly Centre located about two kilometres from Parliament House. Firefighters from Rescue 1122 Rawalpindi were called to tackle the flames.
An eyewitness identifying himself as Osmani said: “All of a sudden, the glass just burst out of the top floor windows and flames started coming out.”
Thick clouds of smoke could be seen bellowing out from miles away. According to a senior police official, nobody was inside the building when the fire broke out as it was off day.
However, owners of the offices and shops rushed to the scene but they were stopped by the police from entering the building, as the firefighters were already at work and the top floor was filled with smoke.
“People were prevented from getting inside as there was thick smoke. On the other hand, some elements could also take advantage of the situation and steal valuables,” a police official said.
A large number of air-conditioning units installed in the building and other inflammable material made the fire worse.
However, after efforts of more than two hours, the firefighters controlled the flames. The fire department said: “It will be too early to ascertain the cause of the fire.”
Rescue 1122 said four fire trucks, two ladders, one ambulance and two water bourses were sent to the area.