Around 55 people,including a four-month baby and several senior citizens,were rescued from the six-floor Trimurti Heights in Gujarat Colony,Kothrud,that caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday. The fire that broke out in the basement charring 46 two-wheelers and three four-wheelers in the parking lot and destroying an electronics goods shop on the ground floor sent thick smoke spiralling up creating panic among residents of the building.
The fire brigade said the spread to the parked vehicles and Keyour Electronics Shop on the ground floor. All electronics goods like flat screen television sets,refrigerators and air conditioners were damaged. The compressors of refrigerators caught fire,causing a huge smoke and noise.
Chief fire officer Prashant Ranpise said,We are not sure of the cause. It may have been caused due to short circuit in the distribution point (DP) box of MSEDCL in the basement. Also,there are chances of mischief as some incidents of anti-social elements setting vehicles on fire have happened in the past. By the time we reached the spot,vehicles in the parking and the electronics shop had caught fire. We have not confirmed whether it was short circuit or whether vehicles were set on fire by some mischievous persons.
Senior police inspector K D Vidhate said the cause of the fire was yet to be confirmed. Vidhate,however,said prima-facie,there is no possibility of mischief.
The fire brigade got a call about 1.30 am an rushed 10 fire tenders,two Branto vehicles and water tankers to the spot. Firemen worked simultaneously to extinguish the fire and rescue residents trapped in the building.
The fire resulted in heavy smoke causing panic among residents. As smoke spread to upper floors,residents woke up from sleep and started screaming for help. Many rushed to the terrace. Firemen rescued them using a ladder.
They had to cut through iron grills to rescue 10 to 15 residents including a four-month-old baby and an old woman stuck on the second floor.
We cut window grills on the second floor. We brought down these residents,including the baby,safely using Branto vehicle, said fire officer Gajanan Pathrudkar.
Residents and cops appreciated the work done by the firemen.
A resident,Sanjay Wafgaonkar,said,We were sleeping. We woke up on hearing screams and opened the door. Our neighbours were in panic and there was lot of smoke…We tried to open the window of my house by kicking at the grill but failed. The fire brigade saved us by cutting the grill. Many residents were rescued through this window.
Police said there was major panic. The firemen rescued all the residents. Nobody was injured. Most residents shifted to other places later as their houses had turned black from smoke. It took nearly one-and-a-half-hour for the fire brigade to bring the situation under control. Police teams and local politicians controlled the crowd,allowing the firemen to work properly.
Sachin Veerkar,owner of Keyuor Electronics,said,All the goods in my shop were burnt,causing a major loss. I do not know the cause of the fire.
A resident who said there was some dispute over parking of vehicles and felt this angle should be probed to see if there is a link.