A major fire broke out at RK Studios in Chembur on Saturday, leaving the famous structure severely damaged.
The fire that broke out around 2.30 pm was aggravated by the inflammable decoration equipment stored inside the premises. By the time firefighters were able to control the blaze, the roof of the studio building and portions of a wall had caved in. The fire consumed the iconic Stage 1 of RK Studios, besides memorabilia and costumes of RK Films productions. Security guards said they spotted smoke emanating from the building and alerted the fire brigade. “The shooting for television programme Super Dancer was going on last night, after which everyone left. No one was inside when the fire started,” said one of the guards.
Fire officials said the blaze started small but started growing after a small explosion took place inside the structure measuring around 100×400 square feet. “The fire spread rapidly due to decoration items, imitation jewellery and props kept in the studio, which was highly flammable. It took us one-and-a-half hours to bring the fire under control. Fortunately, no one was inside the building. We are investigating the origin of the fire,” said Chief Fire Officer P Rahangdale. According to the statement of actor Rishi Kapoor, the structure dated back to 1948, said a fire official present at the site.
“The structure was very old and had a metal frame. As the fire spread, the asbestos cement sheet on top of the building collapsed and a portion of the wall caved in too,” said the official, adding that the flames were doused by around 6 pm.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner, M West ward, Harshad Kale said that while the fire completely damaged the studio, the office building within the premises did not sustain any damage.
According to the officials, the fire was completely put out by 7.25 pm. While the extent of the damage is yet to be assessed, the police said no one from the management had come forward to give a statement or complaint.
The studio has been an intrinsic part of film history. Having been set up by actor Raj Kapoor. “Sad A major fire broke out at RK Studios We have lost the iconic Stage 1 Thankfully no casualties nor injuries. All your concerns appreciated,” actor Rishi Kapoor, son of Raj Kapoor, said in a tweet.