A fire broke out on the sets of a film and television studio in Kanjurmarg on Saturday evening while a serial was being shot. Close to a hundred people working in the studio had a lucky escape as they were outside the premises during a break. The blaze was put out in two hours and there were no reports of casualties or injuries.
The fire was reported at Cinevista Studios on LBS Marg in Kanjurmarg at 7.55 pm during the shoot of serial Bepanah, which is telecast on Colors TV channel.
Rakesh Kumar, an office-bearer at the studio, said the sets were nearly empty when the fire broke out. “Almost everyone was outside the studio for a break. We ran out of the gate as soon as we saw the blaze and informed the fire brigade,” he said.
The fire brigade said it was informed at 8.07 pm and the officials reached the spot at 8.25 pm. By 8.39 pm, it was classified as a Level III fire. Eight fire trucks, six jumbo water tankers, an aerial ladder platform and ambulances reached the studio.
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Fire brigade officials said the blaze was confined to a 3,000 sqm space inside the studio and it gutted the electric wiring and studio equipment. A senior fire brigade official said it is likely that the fire broke out because of a short circuit in the studio’s air conditioners. By 9.35 pm, the fire had been extinguished, said the fire brigade.
The Chief Fire Officer (in-charge), K V Hiwrale, said there were no casualties and the cause would be investigated.
Camera attendant, Rajesh Gupta, who was inside the studio when the fire broke out, had a narrow escape. “I was sitting near television monitors when someone shouted that there is a fire. I hid below a pool table and looked for a way out. When I found a chance, I broke a window with my foot and jumped out,” said Gupta, who suffered a broken arm due to a fall.
Ahmad Khan, a photographer who was visiting a friend’s dance shoot in the studio, said prompt action by the fire brigade prevented casualties.
The five acre studio complex was set up in 1982 and has over 30 filming locations in it with shows shot inside the studios being broadcast on leading Hindi channels, including Sony, Sahara One, Zee TV and MTV, according to Cinevista Limited’s website.
Suresh Gupta, the president of the All Indian Cine Workers’ Association, claimed that the studio’s management was negligent. “The sets inside are made of wood. The studio management did not seek permission from the BMC and the fire brigade before making any alterations. Fifty to one hundred people had a lucky escape as there was a break from shooting. There should be a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire,” he said.
It is the third major fire this week after a blaze in the basement of an apartment in the city on Friday. No one was injured in the incident. Early on Thursday, four members of a family were killed after a fire broke out in their apartment in Marol, Andheri East.