When a thick blanket of smoke had completely engulfed the Ruby Pride Luxury Hotel in Secunderabad on Monday night, at least six youngsters and two police personnel entered the hotel from different sides to rescue guests trapped inside.
No one had instructed or urged them to throw themselves into a life-threatening situation; the Good Samaritans took it upon themselves to save lives. And they went to all possible lengths to do so — a group scaled a wall on the right side of the hotel, broke open windows when plumes of smoke were billowing while another group did the same from the rear side of the building. A third group, including a police constable, climbed up to the hotel’s rooftop from adjacent buildings and took the stairs to reach those trapped inside.
The bravehearts said they were almost blinded by the smoke and had to break open windows to let it out. After around two hours of being involved in the rescue operation, their faces, hands and clothes were covered with patches of soot.
Another group of six youngsters who rescued the hotel guests were residents of Kummariguda, Secunderabad. The first one to spot the fire and smoke was Surya Kiran who had come to the area to give a motorcycle at a servicing centre near the hotel.
As he saw the plumes of smoke turning thicker and blacker, he called up his friend, Subash Chandra Bose. Surya Kiran said that he, along with others, arranged a ladder and put it against a building abutting the hotel. Santosh Chary and Satish were part of this group. They rescued people through a window on the first floor and later entered the building from there to find other guests.
Md Sameer, 22, was passing through the area in an autorickshaw and caught up in a traffic jam near the hotel when he saw the fire. He got down from the auto, scaled a wall on the right side of the hotel along with others, and rescued some hotel guests. He, too, entered through the windows.
Mr Subash Chandra took another route — he reached the hotel rooftop from an adjacent building. He along with friends Amar, Shiva, and Tukaramgate Detective Inspector A.Anjaneyulu, and police constable A.Rakesh descended to the lower floors.
Mr.Rakesh was on patrolling duty when he heard about the fire. The intensity of the inferno and smoke was increasing as they ran down the floors. The heat from the flames was unbearable on the first floor, they said. When they were getting down the floors, the smoke caused severe irritation in the eyes too. “Our eyes turned red,” said Santosh Chary who was standing beside Satish. Amar and Shiva suffered minor injuries. The youngsters said they managed to rescue nine people overall.