‘We were choking & almost fainted’

With fire engulfing the floor,however,the family of six and their helps stayed indoors.

Written by PRIYAL DAVE | Mumbai | Published: December 15, 2013 1:28 am

It was a regular day for the Dawariyas at the upscale Mont Blanc building,Kemps Corner on Friday. Around 7.15 pm,while Usha (53) was preparing dinner,her cook suddenly noticed flames near their window. Forty-five minutes later,the family of six along with their two domestic helps,were standing outside the building with other residents.

The Dawariyas live in flat 1102 on the 11th floor,the flat just below 1202,which was occupied by Dinesh Gandhi and his wife Devyani Gandhi,both of whom died when the fire broke out on the 12th floor of the building.

Recalling the previous evening,Usha said,“We were all at home and I was preparing dinner. When my domestic help saw the flames,we called up the security and learned that there was a fire. We opened the main door to rush out and found ourselves in darkness as the lights had been turned off by then. We turned the gas off,switched off the main supply and used the stairs to escape the fire.”

“I met Dineshbhai and Devyaniben a fortnight ago when they were going to attend a wedding. On Friday,their son even went searching for them. They could not be traced till midnight,making us fear the worst,” said Usha.

She added that they heard a blast from the flats which were on fire when they were standing outside the building.

For Karam Raj Mishra and Rakesh Kumar,domestic helps of the Halwasias on the 15th floor,memory of the evening is blurred. While Mishra suffered burn injuries on his left ear,Kumar was scalded on his nose,ears and fingers,when they tried to escape from the front door. With fire engulfing the floor,however,the family of six and their helps stayed indoors.

Mishra recalls,“We were choking and were close to fainting. It was a while before the firemen came and rescued us.”

priyal.dave@expressindia.com

FIGHTING FLAMES

November 21

A fire broke out at a construction site of real estate developer Lodha Group in Wadala. No injuries were reported. The fire broke out on the 23-acre ‘New Cuffe Parade’ plot. Around 10 fire engines and eight water tankers were rushed to the spot

November 21

One person was killed and around 800 shanties were gutted after a major fire broke out in a slum behind World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade. Around 15 fire engines,10 water tankers and two ambulances were rushed to Ambedkarnagar slum in Backbay area.

November 11

Four members of a family were killed and 10 others,including two firemen,were injured in a blaze at the seven-storeyed Kailash Apartments in Siddharth Nagar,Vikhroli. A short circuit in the electrical wiring in the building’s main electrical meter box is believed to have sparked the blaze

September 25

A fire broke out at a set in Goregaon’s Fim City and four fire engines,five tankers and an ambulance were pressed into service.

March 7

17 people were injured in a major fire at Shastri Nagar slums in Bandra (West),that gutted 150 shanties. The fire brigade used 12 engines,10 jetties,six ambulances and three water tankers.

January 25

A fire killed six people in Nayanagar slum in Mahim and left hundreds homeless. Twelve fire engines and 11 tankers were pressed into service. Around 150 slum dwellings were destroyed.

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