Updated: May 7, 2021 10:08:51 pm
The Mumbai Fire Brigade’s fire investigation report has concluded that the blaze in Bhandup’s Dreams Mall started in a shop on the upper ground floor due to a defective electric circuit, and pointed to the delay in summoning the Fire Brigade which it said led to the spread of the fire.
According to the report, the fire emanated in shop number 140, which is located on upper ground floor. At the time of the incident, the shop was shut, due to which the fire was not noticed on time. The report also stated that the fire brigade was called very late after the fire had spread in a large part of the mall. While the fire broke out at 11.15 pm, the fire brigade was alerted at 11.57 pm.
“The building had poor ventilation and there are more than 1,100 shops, most of them having business of selling stationery. Due to poor ventilation the mall was filled with intense smoke by the time fire brigade officials arrived at the site,” the report pointed out.
While the fire investigation report was submitted last month, it was made public on Thursday.
On March 26, a fire broke out at three-storey Dreams Mall, which led to the death of nine Covid patients at Sunrise Hospital located on its third floor. The fire brigade took more than 12 hours to douse the fire. Officials said that while Sunrise Hospital got the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire brigade, except the fire alarm and smoke detectors, no firefighting systems like sprinklers, hydrants, hose pipes were operational.
A senior fire brigade official said, “The report has asked the mall administration to conduct structural audit of the building, and electrical audit since it has been damaged in fire. Until these reports are submitted, electricity and water connection should not be restored.”
When the fire brigade reached the spot, they found that the east side outside the staircase of the mall was dumped with scrap material, causing delay in search and firefighting operation.
Officials said that none of the firefighting systems were working in the building. “Wet riser, sprinkler, smoke detection, fire alarm was non-functional. Sprinklers did not start even after heat had spread in large part of mall,” said the report.
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