A MAJOR TRAGEDY was averted when nearly 300 people were rescued from a building in Bhiwandi that caught fire early Tuesday morning. Three people fainted because of suffocation caused by the smoke, but no major injury was reported, fire officials said.
A fire brigade official said they received a call around 7.01 am about a major fire on the first two floors of Rahat Manzil, in the Naseempura area of Bhiwandi. The ground and first floors of the building are occupied by a garment factory, which is owned by the builders of Rahat Manzil. According to the police, prima facie, the fire seems to have been caused due to a short circuit in the store room on the first floor, where yarns are woven.
Watch video of the fire
#WATCH: Massive fire in a four storey building in Bhiwandi(Maharashtra). 25 people rescued, some still trappedhttps://t.co/zR9XI2yi74
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 12, 2016
By the time Bhiwandi fire brigade reached the spot, they found more than 250 people stuck on the terrace shouting for help. The Bhiwandi fire unit does not have hydraulic ladders. While they began operations to douse the fire, Kalyan and Thane fire brigade units, who have the ladders, were called in to help in the evacuation. An official said while the fire was contained around 10am, it was doused and cooling operations completed only around noon.
A local said smoke coming out of the first floor of the building was first seen by children headed to school. Soon, the building residents were woken up by the smoke. While there was no one on the ground and first floors that are used commercially, there are 24 flats on each of the top three floors.
“While some residents from the second floor managed to rush out in the nick of time, most of the other families could not run down as the fire was spreading. They then rushed to the terrace, from where they were shouting for help. They were eventually rescued by fire brigade,” said Bhiwandi tehsildar Vaishali Lambhate. During the rescue operations, three persons, including a fire brigade official, sustained minor injuries, officials said.
“There were no casualties in the incident,” said Thane collector Dr Ashwini Joshi.
“We will register an FIR against the builders who also own the powerloom from where the fire is suspected to have originated,” DCP Sudhir Dabhade said. “We will wait for the report from fire brigade officials and the electricity department to ascertain the cause of the fire,” he added.