Lals Patisserie, a famous bakery on Khayaban-e-Shahbaz in Karachi, caught fire on Friday, after which the shop suspended all operations.
The owner said she kept on calling the fire brigade and Rescue 15, but to no avail, as the fire spread and caused severe damage to the establishment.
“If Rescue 15 is not answering then who are you supposed to call?” Lals owner Madiha Sultan told media.
She said the electrical fire started from an outlet connected to a coffee machine at 5:12am on Friday morning.
At the time, there were only two people present at the shop. Sultan, a janitor, and Saeen, the night watchman, discovered the fire and had the presence of mind to immediately call the manager, she said.
After alerting the manager, the two employees tried to douse extinguish the fire with the help of security guards from neighbouring stores. In the meantime, the manager, who lives 25 minutes away from the bakery, started calling Rescue 15 and the fire brigade, but there was no response from either, she said.
Lals, Madiha said, was always very well equipped for fires. She said, “Due to my own phobias, I have always insisted on keeping the bakery well-stocked in case of an emergency. So luckily, we were equipped with buckets, fire extinguishers and blankets.”
With no response from Rescue 15 or the fire brigade, the men were left to fight the flames on their own. Due to heavy winds, the fire was spreading deeper into the pâtisserie.
“You can see sparks behind the coffee machine on the CCTV cameras. And soon enough you can spot a flame that starts behind the coffee machine, eventually swallowing it up, and slowly takes over the bar”, said Madiha.
To control the flames, the men first tried to douse the flame with buckets of water and fire extinguishers. After gaining some control over the flames, sand was used to finally snuff out the fire.
“When I woke up this morning and got all these calls, I thought, well I could get a job, but what about all these people who work here. What will happen to them? They will be jobless,” said the owner.
In her Facebook post, Madiha said, “I feel incredibly lucky that the two men Sultan and Saeen our cleaner and night watchmen discovered this and scrambled to call everyone.”
The fire led to the closure of all operations for one day. The management said it would resume delivery services as soon as power is restored.
The owner of the confectionery said that it was still too early to determine the cause of the fire.
“It’s just tragic that no one showed up,” she added.Lals will reopen soon, said the Facebook post.