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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Mumbai fire: Primary cause short circuit, then fire spread to furniture

On the day of fire, the fire brigade had to manually activate the system, resulting in a delay in fire-fighting operations. "Fire alarms and sprinklers of the building started working very late," the official said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 24, 2021 11:36:59 am
Rohit Rathod, the owner of flat 1902 – the apartment on the 19th floor where the fire erupted – was at work when the blaze started.

A day after the fire in the 60-floor residential One Avighna Park building in Lower Parel that killed one person, the Mumbai Fire Brigade said on Saturday that the preliminary cause of the fire was likely a short circuit and the subsequent blaze that spread through wooden furniture.

“Primary cause of the fire is short circuit and subsequently, the furniture on the 19th floor of the B wing catching fire. However, the exact cause will be known after a thorough investigation,” said Hemant Parab, Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade.

Although the builder said in a statement on Friday that a fire audit of the building had been carried out as recently as October 1 and the report called ‘Form B’ submitted online, the fire chief said there was no record of the building’s mandatory six-month audit report with the department. “We have checked our records and did not find the six-monthly fire audit report of July 2021,” said Parab.

On the day of fire, the fire brigade had to manually activate the system, resulting in a delay in fire-fighting operations. “Fire alarms and sprinklers of the building started working very late,” the official said.

Rohit Rathod, the owner of flat 1902 – the apartment on the 19th floor where the fire erupted – was at work when the blaze started. In a viral video, Rathod is seen to be complaining about the non-functional fire-fighting system in the building. All residents, including his wife and children, were rescued, but 30-year-old Arun Tiwari, a security guard, lost his life in the fire.

The Kalachowkie police had late Friday lodged an FIR against the “concerned authority” but it does not name anyone.

A senior police officer said that only after investigations, it will become clear who should be held responsible for the fire, and the name will be included in the FIR at that stage.

Parab said that under the Fire Act, the owner/occupier of the premises bears responsibility for the fire, and the fire brigade has given a statement to the police accordingly. “As per the Fire Act, we have given a statement to the police about the occupier/owner of the premises where the fire broke out,” Parab said.

The fire brigade said that electricity supply to the B wing of building has been restored, and it was now up to the building managers to restart the same for the residents.

On Saturday, security guards sealed off the building to outsiders, including mediapersons.

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