A massive fire broke out at Scindia House (Commercial) building located in Ballard estate in South Mumbai on Friday. Around eight people stranded in the building were rescued safely, while another seven people including a fireman suffered suffocation due to smoke inhalation.
The fire, which started from the third floor of the ground plus six-storey building, houses income tax investigation wing and debt recovery Tribunal’s office.
While the fire is spreading rapidly on other floors of the building, the firefighters are struggling to navigate inside the building. “No important documents affected. All staff safe,” said a senior income tax official.
Reflecting on the situation, Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade, said the firefighters are yet to control the fire as operations are still underway.
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While no direct casualty or burn injury cases were reported, the Mumbai fire brigades firefighting team rescued at least eight people stranded on the terrace and second floor of the building. And seven people were rushed to Saint George hospital in Fort for the treatment of suffocation due to smoke inhalation. The seven smoke inhalation cases included a fireman identified as Yashwant Dagdu Bachal (55).
While the fire reportedly broke out at around 4.20 pm, the fire brigade, first response team reached the spot at around. 4.51 pm. The fire was then classified at level II at around 4.55 and then was upgraded to level III by 5.20 pm. However, the fire kept spreading rapidly which prompted the firefighters to upgrade the fire level to IV at 7.30 pm.
Around 12 fire tenders and six water tankers and two turn table ladder (TTL) were rushed on the spot. But there were no immediate reports of any casualties.
The third floor of Scindia house has the office of director general and the directors of income tax investigation, said fire brigade officials. According to the preliminary report by the fire brigade, the fire started from a canteen on the third floor, however, the MFB officials or the disaster management unit of the BMC are yet to announce the cause of the fire or where it started officially.