Following the recent building fire in Karachi’s Federal B Area that claimed five lives, urgent concerns about safety have been amplified across the region.
The devastating incident unfolded at the six-storey Arshi Shopping Centre, located on Shahrah-e-Pakistan near Ayesha Manzil in District Central. Eyewitnesses detailed that the fire initially erupted in a shop due to welding work on the ground floor, rapidly engulfing adjacent shops in the furniture market beneath the building.
This marketplace hosts over 250 shops on the ground floor, stocking furniture, mattresses, and petroleum products on the mezzanine level. With 450 residential flats situated across the upper floors, the building’s extensive occupancy raises substantial safety concerns.
Heightened worries persist regarding the structural integrity of the building post-fire, raising apprehensions of a potential collapse. Despite the swift response by the Fire Department leading to a successful evacuation within two hours, the tragic toll has now climbed to five casualties.
Rescue operations, concluded late into the night, revealed significant damage to both the ground and mezzanine floors. The aftermath of this fire underscores the critical need for proactive safety measures and building inspections to prevent similar tragedies.
Multiple firefighting teams, including units from the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), Fire Brigade, and Pakistan Navy, were actively engaged in containing the flames. However, the severity of the damage and loss of life warrants immediate attention and precautionary measures from both authorities and residents.
This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to safety protocols and vigilance within residential and commercial spaces. It urges authorities and citizens alike to prioritize safety standards to avert such disasters in the future.