A fire broke out in the kitchen of the famous Lord Venkateshwara Temple at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday evening, creating panic among thousands of devotees.

The mishap took place in the “boondi potu” (the kitchen where boondi, the granules of red gram, the main ingredient of the famous Tirupati laddu are made), near the main temple complex.

The tin shed that houses the kitchen which has huge utensils full of ghee used for frying the ingredient. Apparently, one of the ghee utensils caught fire due to a short circuit. Within a short time, the roof of the shed also caught fire.

Two fire tenders reached in time and doused the fire. No one was injured in the incident.

TTD officials said that the additional boondi potu located outside the temple will be given a face lift soon with fire safety features. “The accident might have occurred due to a short circuit; the fire easily spreads to the walls which have deposits of ghee used for preparation of laddu. However the fire crew put off the flames within thirty minutes and averted a major fire mishap. No harm is caused to the work force and there is no major loss to the property”, an official said.

After cleaning the entire kitchen, the preparation of boondi restarted. Officials said that there are enough laddus for the distribution and there will be no shortage for devotees on the weekend.

A similar fire broke out in the temple kitchen in October 2016. The TTD at that time announced that an expert committee will look into the issue and had trained the cooking staff on fire-fighting.

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