Among the six persons who died in the Sachinam Heights fire on Saturday, included the three members of the Mistry family – Meena and her two unmarried children Hitesh and Moushmi.
The police believe the three, who resided on the 19th floor of the residential building, were sleeping when the blaze started and couldn’t get out in time.
While Hitesh was a copywriter and director of photography by profession, Moushmi would take tuition classes at home. She also helped her mother Meena in providing tiffin services.
Vidyesh Narvekar, a school friend of Hitesh, who visited the Nair hospital looking for him, said: “Hitesh’s aim was to make it big as a DOP.” He added that Moushmi had celebrated her birthday just two days ago and Hitesh’s birthday was next month. Hitesh’s father, an architect, had died around a decade ago.
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The 19th floor was also home to the Kantharia family. While Manjula Ben Kantharia died in the fire, her son Kirit is missing. A relative, Suketu Shah, said the mother and son used to stay alone. “One body has been recovered, we will seek a DNA test,” he added.
Sixteenth floor resident Baabli Chopdekar (75), meanwhile, is yet to be informed that his younger son Purshottam had died in the fire. The Chopdekar family had merged two flats into one on the 16th floor. Baabli used to stay with both his sons, Gopal and Purshottam, and their familes. While Gopal is married to Sonal and has a minor daughter, Purshottam was married to Madhuri and the couple has two children – a 11-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.
Rupesh Walavalkar, a relative of the Chopdekars, said, “When the fire broke out, Purushottam managed to evacuate all family members but somehow got stuck inside.” Purshottam, who worked for the Shipping Corporation of India, was declared brought dead at Nair hospital. Except for his father, all the family members sustained injuries and are in a hospital undergoing treatment.
Many of those who survived were thankful to the fire brigade officials and some local residents who went out of their way to help.
One such local resident, Chandan Kumar Singh, said, “Around 7 am or 7.15 am, I was cleaning my employer’s car in the nearby Matrumandir building compound when I heard screams from the fourth floor. Residents of Sachinam Heights were screaming ‘turn off the lights, help us’. I ran nearly 200 m and spotted the cooking gas pipeline’s main switch and turned it off…”
Residents of Matrumandir society, located next to Sachinam Heights, opened their ground floor hall for the victims. “They provided us breakfast and lunch,” said one of the victims.
Local corporator Meenal Patel said while the building has been evacuated, 10 people are staying in a BMC school. “The rest are staying with their relatives.”
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