A man was killed in a fire that broke out in an unoccupied building in Girgaum on Sunday evening. The blaze at Kothare House near Central Plaza Cinema was reported to the Fire Brigade at 6.10 pm. After firefighters arrived at the spot, they reported it as a moderate blaze before upgrading it to a serious one at 6.32 pm.
According to the BMC, the fire broke out on the second and third floors of the four-storey building. The flames burned through a wooden staircase between the two floors, causing it to collapse, and also tore through a plastered portion of the third floor.
According to the Fire Brigade, there are shops on the ground floor of the commercial building, while a pre-school — Ronaq Global Academy — operates on floors one through three. Hiral Jhaveri, who runs the academy, said there was no damage to the premises. The Fire Brigade said the fire gutted electric wiring and electric installations, the false ceiling, books and stationery, wooden furniture, roof tiles and a partially open terrace on the third floor.
Eight fire engines, water tankers, an ambulance and a hydraulic ladder were deployed to the site. Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said the structure was filled with smoke and the fire brigade conducted a search operation inside, finding the body of a middle-aged man, who has been identified as Kabir Alam, age 28. The body was taken to Saifee Hospital, where doctors are waiting for it to be claimed.
A spokesperson for the BMC said the building had no occupants and that prima facie, it appears that the blaze started due to a short-circuit on the second floor.
“The building was listed as neither dangerous nor dilapidated. It is a recent construction,” said the spokesperson, adding that cooling operations were underway. A case of accidental death was registered at V P Road police station.