Govt. Analyst to probe ‘suspicious’ fire at PwC office

The Government Analyst has been called in to investigate a suspicious fire that broke out on Friday afternoon engulfing the building housing the local office of international audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC Senior Partner Lasanga Abeysuriya said the data bank with the firm was intact despite the fire, but did not wish to speculate on the extent of the damage caused.

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Fire Brigade Headquarters chief U.S. Kalansuriya said his men were doing a drill in the vicinity and rushed 45 men in nine fire trucks when they were alerted to the fire around 2.50 pm on Friday. He said that they had not been informed of the fire by the occupants.

A fortnight ago, the Commission of Inquiry into SriLankan Airlines had written to PwC asking the firm to provide the files in their possession relating to the incomes of certain former board members of the airline. Yesterday, security was intensified at the Commission’s office.

“It was difficult to say where the fire originated — in the partially constructed building or the office block next door. When we entered the office complex, there was a lot of smoke and we saw that many of the paper files — that were stacked along the wall next to the construction site — were on fire. Laptops and other electronic equipment too had got burnt, the fire chief said.

He said the water sprays used to put out the fire also caused damage to the office equipment on the second and third floors of the building. We took about two hours to douse the fire. Our main concern was to save people who may be trapped inside but we found that all the occupants had left the building. An electric short as the cause of the fire was “unlikely”, Mr. Kalansuriya said.

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Categories: Local News

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