8 hurt in fire in Kamathipura building

A fire-fighter tries to douse the fire which broke out in a building at Kamathipura in Mumbai on Monday, January 6, 2020.

A fire-fighter tries to douse the fire which broke out in a building at Kamathipura in Mumbai on Monday, January 6, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Residents treated and discharged; structure collapsed partially

At least eight people were injured in a fire in a residential-commercial structure in Kamathipura on Monday morning. The injured are stable and have been discharged. The structure partially collapsed during the fire.

The fire broke out in the ground-plus-one storey Cheena building around 9 a.m. Bystanders and neighbours rescued eight people soon after. The fire brigade categorised it as a level III (medium) fire and sent 10 fire engines to the site.

The fire was confined to electric wiring, electric installations and household articles in a leather warehouse in about 2,500 square feet on the first floor and a clothes warehouse on the ground floor.

Two to four units in the building were occupied by families while the remaining were commercial. Cracks had developed in the building and a portion collapsed in the fire, following which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had to demolish a larger portion, also to enable firefighting operations.

The evacuated structure will be demolished completely as it is beyond repair. The fire had also spread to a neighbouring building that shared a common wall. but only to one flat and was doused soon. Water and electric supply of this building has also been disconnected, it has been evacuated and its structural stability will be assessed before allowing people back inside. Meanwhile, residents of Cheena building have been provided temporary accommodation in a municipal school.

The injured are Chanda Devi (60), Adil Qureshi (20), Nisha Devi (32), Neha Qureshi (27), Mohanram (70), Ranjana Devi (24), Aniya (2) and Chandani Shaikh (25).

According to Ranjana Devi, residents were either asleep or busy in daily activities when the smoke began to rise. One of the men broke open a window and helped them out, which is why they did not sustain any severe injury.

Resident Chanda Devi said, “It was sheer luck and God’s grace that we survived.”

Police and fire brigade personnel rushed to spot after they received a call around 9 a.m., said senior police inspector of Nagpada police station Shalini Sharma. The ground floor was used for shoe-making and bag repair, and the chemicals and oil stored in the drums may have led to the fire, she said. “The building was almost 100 years old. The fire has damaged the wood the building was composed of, which is why I don’t think can anyone stay there any more.”

The cause of fire is under investigation, said Ms. Sharma.

“The patients initially suffered breathlessness and discomfort because of the smoke and because they fled and ran from the site of fire. However, all of them took discharge against medical advice around 2 p.m.,” said Dr. P.S, Agal, associate dean of Nair Hospital. All the victims received symptomatic treatment, he said.

“The cessed building was an authorised structure but whether the commercial units had necessary permissions will have to be checked,” said assistant municipal commissioner of D ward Prashant Gaikwad. The structure cannot be saved as it may collapse. The neighbouring building will also be audited, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 5:43:21 AM |

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