Friday, July 29, 2011


There was a terrifying fire behind our College yesterday. Several houses in the paper-market, all illegal and cramped neck to neck, were gutted. Our College was saved because the wind was blowing in the other direction. The flames were literally sky high and just one house was between us and the fire. It was nightmarish seeing houses being gutted and their neighbours catching fire. I had seen the Book Fair fire. But this was closer and truly threatening. Several people were stuck and the official version is they were rescued. It was horrifying to know that they were there, and all of us unable to do anything. Our boys tried to rescue some, but they were stuck in a room full of paper, smoke and behind a window with a grill. The air even at that boundary area was unbreathable - burnt paper and ash everywhere. We evacuated the students. Gas cylinders from staff quarters (which are mostly in that area) were brought our. Then the fire services arrived. Within ten minutes or so. Three fire tenders from inside the College and ten (as I hear) on the other side of the market. The police played a positive role also. One of the policemen, a plain-clothes one who is familiar to us, was very irritated. Someone had reported to him that our Teacher-in-Charge was stuck in the fire! Some of our boys and girls were very impressive in their concern and activity. The Mayor had come and someone from the council. The TV channels and reporters were there - though the news did not make primetime. Our Chemistry lab is right next to the boundary. One random spark could have meant disaster. No one in the College was aware of the fire until one of the teachers from the adjoining St Paul's School - an ex-student of our College - had come running. It is because of people like him, and many of our kids, that lives are saved. No theory, no politics, no media ever actually help in times when lives are in danger.


Sumana said...

Quite an experience...good that lives were saved in time.

Sayani said...

Truly and wisely said...there's no greater teacher than Life and it's situation :)

Good to see good work rolling :)

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