Kamala Mills fire not caused by short circuit: Probehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/kamala-mills-fire-not-caused-by-short-circuit-probe-5008050/

Kamala Mills fire not caused by short circuit: Probe

Investigators are now probing whether flames during a fire stunt by a bartender in either of the two establishments, or burning coal used for serving hookahs on the rooftop may have caused the fire.

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An empty restaurant at the Kamala Mills Compound on December 31 night. (Express Photo by Pradip Das)

A preliminary probe into the cause of the fire that swept through resto-pub 1Above and adjoining Mojo’s Bistro inside the Kamala Mills Compound Friday morning has ruled out an electrical short circuit. Investigators are now probing whether flames during a fire stunt by a bartender in either of the two establishments, or burning coal used for serving hookahs on the rooftop may have caused the fire.

Mumbai’s fire safety rules bar rooftop establishments from performing fire stunts. Also, neither establishment had permission to serve hookah on the terrace. At least 14 people died, 11 of them women, and 54 others injured in the fire.

Incidentally while the police have so far booked the owners of the resto-pub for culpable homicide in the case, investigators from the Mumbai Fire Brigade are now probing if the fire had broken out in Mojo’s Bistro, an allegation that 1Above owners have raised. Yug Pathak, who is the son of senior IPS officer Kaushal Pathak, and Nagpur-based businessman Yug Tulli are owners of Mojo’s Bistro.

On Monday, sources confirmed senior fire brigade officials revisited the site for ascertaining the location of the fire. They were armed with three video clips of the fire as it happened. “There is some evidence to back the theory that the fire may have arisen from Mojo’s Bistro. We aren’t not ruling it out at this stage,” said a source, on condition of anonymity.

Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, also the inquiry officer into the incident, has reportedly asked the Mumbai fire brigade to submit its investigation report on the cause and location of the fire within the next two days. So far, owners of Mojo’s Bistro have been booked for town planning violations.

Findings of the preliminary inquiry have shown that both the establishments had violated fire safety norms.

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