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‘Close to 130 persons were evacuated in an hour'

Staff Reporter
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Business as usual: Shops remain open a day after a major fire broke out at the shopping complex at Kondapur on Monday. — PHOTO: SURYA SRIDHAR
Business as usual: Shops remain open a day after a major fire broke out at the shopping complex at Kondapur on Monday. — PHOTO: SURYA SRIDHAR

Residents of M. V. Plaza, Kondapur are yet to recover from the harrowing experience of Saturday morning. The acrid smell of smoke that engulfed a better part of the apartment complex, due to the fire that gutted the Reliance Fresh outlet, still lingers in the complex.

“The tenants are gradually coming now to collect their valuable items. I had to run and knock on doors of all 32 flats to alert the inmates. It was 4 a.m. on Saturday and yet we managed to evacuate,” the apartment watchman Naidu recalls. Close to 130 persons living in the flats were evacuated within an hour.

As a precaution, authorities have asked residents to vacate the apartments. Majority of the tenants are bachelors and this helped in quick evacuation. The apartment complex had only 6 families while the rest of the flats were occupied by bachelors.

“We just grabbed our purses and ran for our lives. Officials called us twice today requesting to vacate our apartment. There is no power and our apartment still smells of smoke. Everybody panicked because the smoke engulfed the apartment,” says Kirti, a tenant working at Mahindra Satyam.

“It was 5 a.m. and we were groggy and nervous. There was no lift and I used stairs to get down. I vacated my flat in my sleeping clothes but managed to grab the wallet. It was pretty tense out there,” recalls Anish, another tenant.

While fire gutted the Reliance Fresh outlet, nothing happened to the garment and footwear shops located below.

The shop owners are a tensed lot, as they apprehend that the authorities might ask them to shift to an alternate location.

“I am lucky because when I arrived at 7 a.m., the Fresh outlet was completely damaged. Smoke engulfed the whole building and I thought my shop too was destroyed. I have invested all my earnings on this shop and it would have been difficult to recover in case the fire damaged the goods,” said Surendar Kumar, owner of Priya footwear in the apartment complex.

“I had to run and knock on doors of all 32 flats to alert the inmates,” says building watchman


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