Three persons were killed and eight injured when a major fire broke out in the electrical meter cabin of the seven-storey Vaity Apartments on Chaphekar Bandhu Marg near Mulund (East) Station in the early hours of Thursday.
The victims were rushed to National Burns Hospital in Airoli and Fortis Hospital,Mulund. Vasant Prasad (62),Hema Chheda (55) and Varsha Prasad (40) died at Fortis due to severe burns and suffocation. Three are critical at Burns Hospital.
Among the injured are two five-year-old boys,Arnav Karande,who is critical,and Viren Chheda. The others are Jyoti Jadav (25),Avni Prasad (24),Neerav Prasad (26),Minal Chheda (30),Biraj Chheda (36),and Nisha Chheda (40).
Jyoti Jadav is critical as she has suffered 65 per cent burns,while Arnav has suffered 30 per cent burns. Both,along with another patient Biraj Chheda,have suffered serious inhalation injuries and damage to the lungs, said Prashant Maharana of Burns Hospital.
Mulund fire station officials said the fire broke out at around 1.30 am. A fire engine,a water tanker and two ambulances were dispatched to the spot to fight the fire that was doused at around 2.18 am.
When the fire broke out on the ground floor of the building,the residents were sleeping. The fire was restricted to the electrical cabin and the passageway of the ground floor but there was a lot of smoke. The buildings electric wiring burned in the blaze and the fire spread to even the sixth floor. Most impact,however,was on the first floor, said a fire official.
A student who was studying on the first floor heard a series of small explosions and raised an alarm. The smoke and flames were the thickest on the first floor, said senior inspector Ganesh Gaikwad,Navghar police station.
Those who stayed indoors were unhurt. Those who tried to escape died or were injuried.
Building watchman Dhansingh Thapa also heard the explosions and rushed in. Seeing that a fire had broken out,he rushed back out and started shouting for help. Soon,young men from nearby buildings gathered. Realising that the fire was restricted to the first two floors of the six-storey building,they shouted to residents to stay indoors.
The residents shouted back acknowledgement from windows. Only the residents of flat 302 on the third floor and flat 405 on the fourth failed to respond, said Yogesh Rajgor,who stays in a neighbouring building.
Meanwhile,Thapa made his way to the top floor through the smoke and flames. I rushed upstairs with keys in my hand. I somehow reached the sixth floor and opened the door to the terrace,so that residents of higher floors could go there and get fresh air, he said.