The fire that broke out in the Centaurus Mall in Islamabad on Sunday was put out after two hours, according to the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Mohammad Usman Younis, the head of the CDA and the chief commissioner of Islamabad, said that the fire was put out by the fire department, the Pakistan Navy, the Pakistan Air Force, and Rescue 1122.
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Irfan Nawaz Memon, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Islamabad, said that the mall and the residential towers next to it were being locked down until a technical team could report on how safe they were after the fire.
He thanked the people and organisations that had helped put out the fire.
DawnNewsTV said earlier that people living in the building were told to leave, and that the fire department was working to put out the fire as plumes of smoke rose from the building.
TV footage showed big clouds of smoke coming from the building, and other clips showed people trying to get out of the mall by using the escalators.
The Islamabad police said earlier that a search was going on in the mall.
At the scene were the city’s police chief, senior police officers, administration officials, and rescue teams.
The police also said that a helicopter was being sent to help rescue people and put out the fire.
They also said that the fire inside the mall was “under control” and that no stores were damaged, even though there were still flames on the outside of the mall that were being put out.
A spokesperson for the Pakistan Navy said that the organisation was also helping to put out the fire, and that a navy team and three fire trucks were being used.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif heard about what happened and said he had told the right people and institutions to act right away.
“It’s a shame that this happened in such a well-known business centre. I hope that no one gets hurt or killed. “I am sorry for the victims’ financial losses,” he wrote on Twitter.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also heard about what happened and told the Islamabad government and fire department to do everything they could to put out the fire.
“The fire should also be put out with the help of a helicopter from the right departments,” he said. He also said that the cause of the fire should be looked into so that the people responsible could be found.
The interior minister told the Ministry of Interior to get a full report of what happened with the fire.
The CDA said that its chairman was also at the site and was keeping an eye on rescue and firefighting efforts.
“Everything is being done to put out the fire as soon as possible,” the CDA said.
The CDA said that most of the affected area was being cooled down and that the rest would also be under control soon.
Younis said that 60–70% of the fire was under control, and he also said that the fire was moving up through the apartments’ balconies.
“We have asked for the helicopter, and it will be here soon. “The helicopter will help stop the fire from spreading up,” the chief commissioner said. He also said that three or four teams were sent into the mall to make sure no one was inside.
He said that he was hopeful that the fire would be put out soon.
An inquiry committee was set up.
Later that day, the Islamabad district administration sent out a press release saying that an inquiry committee had been set up to find out what caused the fire, if the building had fire fighting equipment and alarms, and what the management did.
It also said that DC Memon ordered that other big buildings in the city be checked to see if they have firefighting equipment. If they don’t, they should be punished.
The committee was made up of the I-Area assistant commissioner, the Rawalpindi district emergency officer, the CDA directors for Building Control Section and Electrical and Mechanical Section (E&M), and the CDA additional director for E&M section, according to a notice from the office of the Islamabad Capital City district magistrate.