A fire broke out at a shoe factory in Samadnagar on Demra Road in Jatrabari, Dhaka, on Monday.
Polash Chandra Modok, the fire service duty officer, told the Dhaka Tribune that the fire had started around 11:22am.
“Though we managed to bring the fire under control around 2pm, we are still attempting to completely douse it,” he said.
Tajul, one of the factory's workers, said the factory, which supplies shoes to Bata, is owned by two brothers named Nobel and Jewel. They also own another factory in the area.
The owners, however, could not be located at the time.
There are about a total of 200 to 250 employees at the shoe factory, but at the time of the fire, only 30 to 40 workers were on site.
Requesting anonymity, one worker said on hearing a sound they had looked up from their work and noticed the fire. Since they evacuated the factory instantly, no one was harmed.
According to the workers, the fire had broken out near the area where flammable chemicals were stored and this had caused the fire to spread quicker.
Director (Operations and Maintenance) of Fire Service and Civil Defence Maj AKM Shakil Nawaz said there was no water source on location, and so the fire service could only rely on their own water reserves to try and put out the fire.
“The lane leading to the factory was also too narrow for the fire service vehicle, so fire fighters had to physically carry the water to the location and attempt to douse the fire,” Shakil added.
As the fire service is still working on completely subduing the fire, they have yet to ascertain the main cause of the fire or tally the total amount of loss incurred.