Fire incident in Thimphu exposes risks of locked entrances

A fire incident early this morning in one of the buildings in the Hong Kong market area of the capital almost turned disastrous. The electric meter box of the building caught fire raising flames and sending black smoke through the staircase. To make matters worse, fire fighters could not get in as the building’s main entrance was locked from the inside.       

The electric meter box installed underneath the staircase right next to the main entrance caught fire at around 6 AM.

As one of the residents had locked the main entrance from the inside, firefighters, despite reaching the spot on time, had difficulty containing the fire as the Bhutan Power Corporation staff could not shut down the main electric line on time.

The delay caused damage to the building’s railings and electric cables.

A motorbike parked right next to the meter box was also destroyed by the fire. However, no casualties were reported.

According to the Royal Bhutan Police’s Fire and Rescue Services Division, locking main entrances of buildings both from the inside and outside could be fatal in times of emergencies.

The police is also urging house owners to avoid installing meter boxes underneath the staircases to avoid blocking exit path for people in times of fire incidents.

Making wooden meter boxes is also discouraged as wood can easily catch fire.

Kinley Dem

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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