Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Repeated fire incidents

Let us think out of the box

Let us think out of the box

The massive fire at the city’s Bangabazar apparel market was simply devastating to the highest degree. The fire burnt dreams of the traders there to ashes. It took firefighters more than 75 hours to bring the fire under control completely. Before the fire at the Bangabazar could hardly be doused and business activities restored, another fire broke out at the nearby Barishal Plaza yesterday morning. Luckily it could not be as damaging as that of the Bangabazar; firefighters rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control. However, the question is why fire is breaking out so frequently and happening to be so much damaging.

Virtually we are sitting on tinderboxes that are ready to explode into devastating fire at any moment. The Bangabazar fire incident has aptly demonstrated the scale of danger that awaits us. And we are now passing through the driest period of the year when everything – from a blade of grass to piles of clothes and fabric in the marker – is ready to catch fire instantly. While the situation demands extra precaution against fire outbreaks, we are as careless as before.

The fire incident at Bangabazar is the third such an event at the same place. The prior two incidents were supposed to be taken into thought seriously and plans of actions chalked out accordingly. But lessons from them still remain unlearnt. Repeated warnings from the fire department failed to bring the stakeholders to senses. The Bangabazar fire incident was actually invited.

Firefighters deserve accolades as they are trying to the best of their ability to bring fire under control. But time seems to have come to think differently; in addition to firefighting as the main job and honing skill for the same, they and others involved should concentrate on evolving ways and means-end thinking measures to prevent fire incidents as much as possible. Had preventive measures been taken, the shocking fire incidents at Bangabazar and elsewhere would have hopefully been avoided or damages would have been minimum. And people’s awareness in this regard has no alternative.