India: Rat held responsible for starting fire that led to damages worth Rs1 Crore (Dh490,187) in a car showroom

Dubai: For six months, no one knew that the culprit had been a rat all along. Earlier this year an entire first floor of a building caught fire, causing damages worth Rs1 crore (Dh490,187) in an automobile showroom, in the Indian city of Hyderabad. But, after months of investigation, it is only now, that a small detail in the CCTV footage ratted out the rodent.


According to an Indian news report, initially, the fire was believed to have occurred due to a short circuit. However, forensic experts who were investigating the February 8 incident, tested the burnt material and examined the wiring. But, they found that there was neither any inflammable material, nor a short circuit, which could have started the fire.


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“Our team inspected the site and collected relevant physical evidence… Analysis did not reveal presence of hydrocarbons thereby ruling out possibility of ignition and initiation of fire due to use of extraneously induced ignitable liquid residues”, Dr KPC Gandhi, founder of the lab investigating the incident, said, according to a news website.


So, the team went back to check the CCTV footage of the day of the doomed fire, and discovered something very bizarre.


Visuals showed a tiny rat, scurrying about in the dead of the night, with something glowing in its mouth. It ran over the office tables looking for that perfect spot, before finally dropping whatever was in it’s mouth on to a chair. It was 11:55pm.


As it turned midnight, the chair was on fire, and a few minutes later, the entire floor was engulfed in flames.


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Upon further investigation it was found that, apparently, every Friday, employees used to hold a puja (prayer ritual) during which a lamp was lit in front of the picture of a deity. On that day, the small lamp remained lit through the night, as it had gone unnoticed before the employees left. The rat had managed to drag out the burning wick, and had dropped it on the chair, Gandhi added.


It appears that the rat is still at large.


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