Mangaluru: Fire near school continues for two days, kids swing into action

Mangaluru: Fire near school continues for two days, kids swing into action

13 January 2015

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India — A fire broke out in the forest behind Sarvodaya High School, Kallamundkur on Monday January 12, reportedly due to short circuit.

The fire broke out in area of Samajika Aranya Pradesha, a community forest department property which had acacia trees, at 1 pm on January 12. The fire continued to rage even on Tuesday January 13, and children of Sarvodaya School took the brave initiative to help put out the fire.

The fire was put off at around 4.30 pm on Monday by the fire brigade, but it started again at 8.30 pm. The fire brigade which arrived at the scene and put off the fire by 10.30 pm.

On Tuesday morning, fresh fire was spotted in the same area.

Since there was no access to the said forest, it had become very difficult for the vehicles and equipment of the fire department to reach the spot. Hence the fire continued to burn the forest for a long time.

But the children of the school and locals rendered help to the fire fighters in extinguishing the fire. The children, however, were not wearing any protective gear or masks, which raised questions about their safety.

The Mescom arrived at the spot and is working on restoring the power lines.

‘Action unavoidable’

Speaking to daijiworld, principal of the school Pashupati Shastry said that the students were not sent alone but even the teachers accompanied them, and that action was unavoidable as the fire was fast approaching the school.

“The fire has already engulfed most of the forest area and was spreading towards the school. We have cooking gas and other inflammable equipment in the kitchen of the school, and we could not take any risks or wait for firemen,” he said.

“The teachers informed the children about the fire and gave them precautions like not to breathe too deeply or go near the smoke. The students here are proactive and they voluteered to put out the fire themselves. The teachers were all the time guiding the students and supplying them water. All the teachers except one were with the students throughout,” he said.

Asked about the cause for the fire, Shastry said it happened because of electric wires brushing against the trees. “It had happened last year also, and when Mescom was informed, their personnel came and cut some trees and tightened the wires. Now the wires might have come loose again,” he explained.

He also said that the school did not get much help from the locals, which forced the teachers and the students to take action themselves. “The locals helped last night, but today no one came to our help,” he said.

“The fire is still raging in some of the spots. It is not our responsibility but of the local authorities. We only wanted to save our school. Already most of the area has been charred,” he added.


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