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One Avighna Park blaze: Short circuit in flat 1902 led to blaze, says Mumbai fire brigade’s preliminary report

The report added that a police complaint has been filed by the fire brigade and an investigation is on. The exact cause of the fire will be out in the coming days, the report said.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: November 10, 2021 10:15:45 am
On the day of the incident, the fire brigade had to manually activate fire-fighting system in the society, resulting in a delay in fire-fighting operations.

A preliminary report submitted by the Mumbai Fire Brigade into the blaze at the 60-storey One Avighna Park at Curry Road on October 22, which led to the death of a security guard, has said that a short circuit in the main electrical distribution board of flat number 1902 on the 19th floor is likely to have caused the blaze.

The report added that a police complaint has been filed by the fire brigade and an investigation is on. The exact cause of the fire will be out in the coming days, the report said.

“Further, as the fire-fighting equipment in the society were not kept in proper working condition, a showcause notice has been issued to concerned stakeholders,” the report, which was tabled before the Statutory Civic Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday, said.

On the day of the incident, the fire brigade had to manually activate fire-fighting system in the society, resulting in a delay in fire-fighting operations. The report added that after fire teams reached the 19th floor of the building’s B wing, they tried to douse the flames with the help of the in-built water hose. “However, due to inadequate water pressure, the firemen decided to make use of the water hose from its vehicles and douse the flames. This led to the entire flat 1902 getting gutted and also fire spreading to a part of flat 2002,” said the report.

Arun Tiwari, a 30-year-old security guard, lost his life in the fire while 16 others were rescued from the building. Tiwari had rushed to help the residents of flat 1902 when he got trapped. In an unsuccessful attempt to escape, he fell to his death from the balcony of the apartment.

In wake of the two major fire incidents in residential premises – at Avighna Park and Hansa Heritage – which claimed three lives, and defunct fire-fighting systems, the BMC on Monday had issued a fire safety advisory.

The advisory said: “It is seen that a large number of combustible materials are used for interior work in buildings and modifications/alterations are made to the original structure for interior work as well as in the fire protection system and electrical fixtures, thus increasing the risk of fire. Such fire endangers not only the occupants but also the lives of the surrounding residents.”

It urged interior designers and architects to avoid the use of combustible materials in interior work. It also urged the use of fire-retardant paint to avoid the spread of fire. “No changes shall be made in the original internal structure, fire protection system and electrical wirings to avoid incident of fires,” the advisory said.

Under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, it is the responsibility of the property owner or the cooperative housing society to follow fire safety norms and submit to the civic body an audit report – signed by a licensed fire expert – every six months.

Meanwhile, a detailed investigation into the incident is being conducted by a committee formed under Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar.

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