"Yes. What we have decided to do is a fire (safety) audit in all branches of State Bank of India located all over the country to make sure such a thing does not occur again," Bank's Chief General Manager PS Prakash Rao said.

A fire broke out on Saturday afternoon in the second floor of the heritage building that houses State Bank of India. However, there were no casualties.

Asked whether the bank has been undertaking such fire safety audits regularly, he said, "Yes, we do it periodically. But we have decided to do it once again to make sure that whatever suggestions have been made are implemented."

Clearing the air in the wake of reports that the bank flouted fire safety norms, Rao said, "These are rumours and things like that. See, we have all buildings safe. If there is some short circuit then we will not be able to prevent that."

"In the kitchen, there was not any fire actually. We are presuming it is some sort of short circuit. Kitchen is not gutted," Rao said.

Stating that the bank has informed all customers about the fire, he said the operations have been shifted to three branches of the bank due to the incident.

"We have shifted to three different locations. If they are all in one place, there will be too much of crowd. So what we have done is the operations of Rajaji Salai branch has come to Whannels Road branch, main branch operations gone to Broadway branch and SME branch to T Nagar," Rao said.

He further said though two branches operating in the heritage building were not affected by the fire but the bank has decided not to operate there.

"We have to see the structural strength of the building and how we need to refurbish it has to be seen," he said.


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