At least seven people died and 25 were injured in a major fire that broke out in a 21-storeyed residential building at Chandivali near Powai on Saturday evening. According to fire officials, five people tried to escape by taking the lift after the fire broke out and died even before the Mumbai Fire Brigade could reach the spot.
Combing operations are still on. Among those injured, 11 men and 11 woman, of which Ashok Mukherjee, a resident who was rescued, suffered serious burn injuries and was taken to the National Burns Centre at Airoli. His condition was reportedly serious.
Further, three people were injured in another fire that broke out in Bandra slums, where the fire brigade rushed 11 fire engines on Saturday evening. The two fires come two weeks after four firemen died while fighting a major fire in Kalbadevi. According to fire officials, the fire broke out on the 13th floor of the Chandivali building and spread to the 14th and 15th floor of Lake Homes phase-III.
The fire brigade sent 15 fire engines and managed to rescue five people from inside the flat on the 14th floor, “The five persons’ bodies were retrieved from the lift after they tried to escape form the lift after the fire broke out. Sadly, they used the lift after the fire broke out, although we have always maintained not to do so and died even before we could reach the spot,” said PS Rahangdale, deputy chief fire officer.
According to reports, four persons died in the lift, one in the passageway. Residents Ashwin Bhatia and one more died on floor 19 due to heat and smoke.
This fire was similar to the fire at the 26-storeyed Mont Blanc building at Kemps Corner in December 2013, which killed seven. Those who listened to the fire brigade and remained inside, we were able to rescue. We rescued four people here and around 36 people in the Mount Blanc fire,” said Rahangdale.
According to Rahangdale, 17 of 25 injured were rescued from above floor 14. Four were saved from one of the two burning homes on the 14th floor. The incident is believed to have started from flat 1403.
Among the dead was one woman who worked as a maid in the building. She was found on the 11th floor. Five men and two women are on the list of casualties.
The fire was under control around 9.30 pm. Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said that the passive firefighting system was in place at the Chandivali buidling. “According to information received by me, five people tried to escape using the lift. The building’s passive fire-fighting system was in place,” he said. Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta confirmed that the fire appears to be a short circuit from a domestic cause.
Ten men and 11 women are being treated presently while three were discharged. An Assistant station officer suffocated as he rescued a person from the building. He is presently admitted in the hospital, his conditions are stable now.
Fire officials said that the new equipment were used to douse the fire. “We used special appliance on the east and west side and took four lines of the riser to control the fire,” said Ranhangdale.