A major fire broke out in Khalsa Mahal, part of the Chepauk Palace, a heritage building, destroying the offices of the directorates of Social Welfare, and Industries and Commerce, in the early hours of Monday. One fireman was killed and three others, including a Divisional Fire Officer, were injured when the roof of the 18th century structure came crashing down during the five-hour firefighting operations.
The fire, in which important government documents and papers were charred, was due to an electrical short circuit, suspect sources in the Fire and Rescue Services.
A fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, Khalsa Mahal was one of the two structures that formed the core of the palace, which was taken over by the British in 1859. In the 1960s, the Tamil Nadu government constructed the Ezhilagam complex, fronting the Marina beach, and located several of its offices there, including some in the palace buildings.
More on the Ezhilagam Complex i.e Chepauk Palace