Fire Brigade officials on Monday asked the authorities of Priya Cinema here to stop screening films till an investigation into the fire that broke out at the theatre last night was completed.
Director General (DG) of Fire Services Jagmohan, who inspected the site, along with forensic officials, told reporters, “There will be no screening today. We will give the go-ahead after getting and examining the forensic department report as well as the reports of the Fire Services department, Kolkata Police and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), who have already inspected the hall and other parts of the building and collected samples.”
“We are conducting the investigation. The cinema hall has been asked not to screen films until the investigation is over. We will give the go-ahead after reviewing the situation,” he added.
Replying to a question on whether the fire started from a food outlet on the ground floor of the building, Jagmohan said the first floor was not affected by the blaze, the reasons behind which were being ascertained.
Forensic personnel had collected samples from the spot, official sources said.
The fire had broken out at the theatre located in the Deshapriya Park area of south Kolkata during a late-night show. There was no report of any casualty.
The audience had managed to exit after smoke filled the auditorium at around 10.15 pm. Four members of the theatre owner’s family, who lived in the same building, and a staff member were trapped on the roof, but were evacuated safely by the Fire Brigade personnel.
The owner of the theatre, Arijit Dutta, said screening of films was stopped for the time being.
“We are trying to resume it as soon as possible.... If possible, today itself. There is also no damage to the cinema hall in the fire,” he told PTI.
Dutta claimed that the fire had started from a food outlet located on the ground floor of the building. When smoke entered his office, which is located next to the food outlet, he alerted the theatre employees and managed to evacuate all the members of the audience.
Dutta further claimed that the theatre got a clearance from the Fire department in May and followed the safety guidelines laid down by the CESC and other public utilities.
West Bengal Fire Services Minister Sovan Chatterjee, who had gone to the spot after the incident, said all angles, including the possibility of the fire originating from the ground-floor food outlet, would be investigated.
The fire was possibly caused by a short circuit, sources said.