Heavy Istanbul fire damages more than sixty businesses
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Smoke from the large blaze could be seen from all around the city, even from the Asian side of Istanbul. Some 200 personnel and 70 vehicles were dispatched to the area of , according to reports. DHA photoA fire that broke out at a workshop in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district yesterday has affected more than 60 businesses in the vicinity, causing heavy financial damage.
The fire started at 9 a.m. yesterday, after paint thinner stored in the workshop’s attic caught fire. The blaze quickly spread to adjacent buildings, damaging 68 workshops in total, and was controlled after five hours.
“The fire quickly spread onto the roof, a wide area with large quantities of incendiary and explosive materials. Ten separate groups of firefighters with hose trucks came to the scene on short notice,” read a written statement issued by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Efforts to extinguish the fire were still underway as of yesterday afternoon, with some 200 personnel and 70 vehicles dispatched to the area, according to reports.
Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said there were large amounts of fabric and chemicals stored in the workshops, which made it difficult to contain the flames. “We have more than 80 firefighting teams at the scene, and all necessary measures have been taken to contain the fire,” Mutlu said, adding that there were no reports of deaths or injuries. “We hope our firefighters will be able put out the fire before it causes any more damage.”
Smoke from the large blaze could be seen from all around the city, even from the Asian side. “We think some of the warehouses in the path of the fire were sealed, and that should not have been the case. I have also heard [the claim] that the incident was a case of [sabotage], suggested by the fact that another fire broke out in the same place about a week ago. I do not know, however, what a saboteur could hope to achieve by setting this fire,” said Ateş Ünal Erzen, the mayor of Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, after surveying the area. “We have been informed that this [place includes] old factories, including textile factories. They are no longer in use as factories, but have fiber warehouses attached. Another fire had broken out earlier, which was thought to have started in the Yediemin warehouse.”
Reports indicate the fire has not caused any injuries, but there is no information as to its cause, Erzen said. “There are eight licensed firms among these companies. The rest were also in the process of getting certified, but people did not heed the law.”