A major fire broke out at a building in Kailash Complex in Vikhroli at 2.30 am Monday,killing four members of a family and leaving 12 injured. The building did not have a firefighting system.
A short-circuit in the common meter box in one of the three buildings in the complex spread through the duct in the passage,causing major damage on the seventh floor of the ground-plus-six storey structure. This is the third time in three years that we have faced the same mishap. The short-circuits in 2011 and 2012 happened in the morning,so we acted immediately. This time it was dark and people were fast asleep when it happened, said D K Narwade,secretary of Kailash Complex.
The three buildings are separated by narrow lanes on a slope. The fire took place in the second building,each floor of which has 11 rooms of 225 sq ft. As many as 27 rooms from the third to the seventh floor were damaged. H R Shetty,assistant divisional fire officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade said,It is mandatory for all buildings to have a firefighting system. This was mandated in 2006 but this building was constructed in 2003.
Four members of the Shilvant family Gautam (55),Purnima (58),Vishal (29) and Ayush Shardul (4) were killed on the spot. Their flat on the seventh floor of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building was gutted.
Of the 12 injured,four have been admitted in the civic-run Rajawadi hospital,seven in Sion hospital and one in Kasturba hospital. Dr Anil Chopde,assistant medical officer in Rajawadi hospital,said,Seven survivors were brought to the hospital. Gunaji Yadav sustained 50 per cent burns on chest and neck and had to be shifted to Kasturba hospital,and a couple Balkrishna and Vanita Ambolekar were transferred to Sion hospital because they had asthma.
Subir More,a resident of neighbouring building,said the Shilvant family was stuck indoors because the fire had blocked their door that opens to the duct.
Inspector Shankar Bore from Parksite police station said,I was on patrol when I got a call about the fire. We immediately called the fire brigade and reached the spot in 15 minutes.
Though four fire engines and as many water tankers reached the spot immediately,the narrow lanes between the buildings made rescue operations difficult and it took more than three hours to douse the blaze, said Bharat Ringe,a resident of the adjoining building.
People are not careful. They throw garbage in the duct,sometimes even cigarette butts, said Neelam Bhosale,a resident.