(Written by Suresh Chaudhary)
A fire broke out in the basement of a commercial complex at the Prahladnagar road of the Anandnagar area on Wednesday evening, endangering more than 200 people stuck in the building. However, no casualties were reported, while three experienced suffocation and were attended to on time.
Vishal Shah (34), who sustained minor injuries, was taken to a nearby hospital and discharged after treatment.
“Six fire safety vehicles reached the spot immediately, along with ambulances. Around 35 people were rescued using an aluminum ladder, while about a 100 were rescued from the fourth floor via a hydraulic platform,” said MP Mistry, deputy fire officer at the Ahmedabad Fire Emergency Services (AFES).
“Sixty five others were pulled out through the staircase after breaking four window panes of the building’s second, third and fourth floors.” Around 35 officials were involved in the operation which nearly took an hour.
Rajesh Bhatt, additional chief fire officer of AFES, said, “Prima facie, it appears that the cause is a short circuit in the basement, but we are trying to ascertain the exact cause. The smoke reached the fourth floor through the staircase, but we were able to rescue all 250 people.” Bhatt said it is a low-rise building which didn’t require any in-built fire safety equipments.
The ground floor had shopping brand stores, and the first two floors housed a plywood-cum-furniture store. The third floor was vacant and the fourth one housed the office of an IT firm, with most people rescued being its employees. One of them, Keyur Faldu said, “As soon as we saw the smoke coming inside our office, we closed our doors and moved to the pantry area. Then, the firemen moved us to the terrace through the window and later brought us down the ladder.”