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Fire incidents cause 300m afs losses this year

Fire incidents cause 300m afs losses this year

Dec 12, 2011 - 15:37

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): As many as 936 incidents of fire that occurred this year have caused property losses amounting to more than 300 million afghanis ($6.1 million), an official said on Monday.

Nearly 238 fire incidents happened in the capital alone, with the rest taking place in several provinces, Kabul fire brigade department head, Maj. Gen. Abdul Fatah Farogh, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview.

Most of the fires broke out in markets, houses and state buildings, he said, attributing the incidents to carelessness and lack of knowledge about preventive measures. Last year, he recalled, 1,557 incidents were reported.

Six branches of fire brigade department are operating in Kabul and each province has one office. Each of the six branches in Kabul has three big firefighting vehicles with the capacity of carrying 9,000 litres of water and three small trucks, which could carry 3,000 litres of water.

Each of Herat, Balkh, Kunduz, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces has been provided with three big and five small firefighting vehicles, Farogh said.

In order to prevent possible fire incidents, his department has launched educational programmes to raise public awareness and give tips to citizens on preventive measures. "When people are asleep, they should not leave heaters on and should keep gas, fuel and matches out of children's reach," he suggested.

The official said the fire department planned to install fire extinguishers in offices, markets, cars and trucks. An extinguisher could douse fire in a three metres radius. Farogh complained about inadequate staff at his department.

Without giving an exact number of vacancies and the equipment needed, he said four other branches would be set up over the next three years in Kabul. "Adequate equipment and staff can help reduce the number of fire incidents."

There is only one school providing training to firefighters, who attend four and a half months of training.  A fire academy would be constructed in Shakardara district of Kabul by 2015 with financial support from the US government, Farogh concluded.


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