Fire at Christ Church Okara Premises Leads to Rapid Action and Appeals for Enhanced Safety Measures

Okara, May 18, 2024 – A sudden fire broke out at Christ Church Okara around 7:00 PM following an explosion. Initial reports suggest that accumulated garbage, including flammable materials, had been piling up on the church premises for an extended period, contributing to the blaze.

Eyewitnesses reported that the fire, likely fueled by the improperly disposed waste, rapidly spread throughout the church grounds, damaging several trees and plants. The fire's proximity to a fuel pump adjacent to the church raised concerns about a potential major disaster.

According to church member Adeel Masih, local church members swiftly arrived at the scene upon noticing the fire and assisted in the initial response. The church management immediately took charge, coordinating efforts to contain the blaze. They utilized available fire extinguishers and water hoses to prevent further spread. Meanwhile, three fire brigade vehicles arrived promptly, thanks to the quick alert raised by the church community.

The fire brigade teams worked efficiently, deploying hoses and foam to douse the flames. Their coordinated efforts ensured that the fire did not reach the main church building, thereby preventing any structural damage. The firefighters, alongside the church members, meticulously checked for any remaining hotspots to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. Through these combined efforts, the fire was brought under control, and the church building was saved from significant damage.

Inspector Saif from Division A Police Station arrived with his team to assess the situation and assured that effective security measures would be implemented. The collaboration between the police and the administration provided much-needed support during the crisis.

Later that night, another fire broke out in the same area, but residents managed to control it using water. Despite their efforts, a third fire ignited early on Sunday, May 19, around 5:00 AM, threatening the nearby petrol pump. The fire was again contained by the quick actions of the residents and a Rescue 1122 team. A large fire brigade vehicle was initially unable to enter due to the narrow main gate, but a smaller vehicle was later dispatched and successfully extinguished the remaining flames.

The congregation of Christ Church Okara has urgently requested the Deputy Commissioner of Okara to order the removal of garbage piles within the church grounds. They have also called for measures to prevent tenants from disposing of waste on church property and for the construction of an emergency exit gate to facilitate easier access for emergency services.

Christ Church Okara, established in 1929 on Church Road, is part of the Lahore Diocese. Bishop Nadeem Kamran chairs the diocese, and Addison Benjamin is in charge of the church. The church is historically significant, with Henry Bickers, Ten Durant, and Ambassador of Christ Sadhu Sunder Singh having contributed to its foundation and blessings.