ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 9, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 28

Matara fire destroys petrol shed, shops

By Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk

A major fire at a petrol shed in Kamburupitiya in the Matara district destroyed the shed, 10 shops, a bowser and a few motorcycles and bicycles before the fire brigade backed by residents doused the flames after a four-hour battle.

The bowser that caught fire and all what remains of the shed.

The fire was sparked off when a petrol bowser was unloading fuel at the shed in the Kamburupitiya town. The fire first spread to the underground tank and then to the bowser destroying the vehicle. The first fire engine arrived from Matara -- 16 kilometres away -- one and half hours after the fire broke out and residents jeered firemen for the delay. Later fire engines came from Galle, the Koggala Air Force camp and a Navy camp.

Residents with available resources initially tried to fight the fire, but after police warned that there was a possibility of the underground tank exploding they were forced to keep away.Among the 10 shops damaged were textile, tyre and grocery stores. Police said evidence so far had revealed a few clues as to the cause of the fire.

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