Century old Secunderabad Club in Telangana burns downtext_fields
Hyderabad: The Secunderabad Club, considered a priceless artefact of the city's history was gutted in a massive blaze that completely destroyed the 144 year-old structure in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A fire department official said they received information about the blaze in the heritage building at about 3 AM. "We rushed 10 fire tenders to the building immediately. It took about three to four hours to bring the flames under control. The entire club has been gutted to ashes," the official was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
There were no reported injuries or deaths as the club had been closed since Friday on account of the Makar Sankranti festival. The flames were doused by 6 AM. Damages of Rs 35-40 crore have been estimated due to the accident.
Efforts to put out the raging fire were complicated by the explosion of several gas cylinders kept within the building which exploded in the heat. In addition to this, firemen said that the age of the building and presence of highly-combustible materials in the structure (like wood) which had fed the flames, according to police commissioner of Hyderabad city, C.V Anand.
Prominent heritage conservationist Anuradha Reddy and also a member of Secunderabad Club, told HT that the club, established by the British in 1878, is one of the oldest clubs in India.
"The club is very close to my residence. I thought there was some accident. This morning, I came to know about the incident," Reddy, who is also convenor of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), said, adding that she heard loud noises earlier in the morning.
The club's century-old Main Club House was given heritage status by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority in 2017.
The club has a 8,000 members including military officers, bureaucrats, diplomats, police officials, professionals, scientists and businessmen.