Fire breaks out in housing society, cylinder explodes, 3 firemen hurt

Gutted: The blast site in Airoli.

Gutted: The blast site in Airoli.  

Management illegally allowed watchman to stay in pump house

A fire officer and two staff members from Airoli fire station sustained minor injuries when a gas cylinder exploded on Saturday night at a pump house in a housing society. The management of the housing society had illegally let their watchman stay in the pump house and he had kept two gas cylinders in it for cooking.

The injured have been identified as fire officer Eknath Pawar and his staff members R.R. Kokate and S.B. Parab. Mr. Pawar said, “Around 7.20 p.m., we received a call from Krishna Heights in Sector 8A. The residents informed us that a fire broke out in the pump house owing to a short circuit. We quickly reached the spot, but before we could begin our operation, the cylinder exploded. We were not informed about the presence of the cylinder inside the pump house.”

Mr. Pawar said the pump house had two doors. While the fire station personnel were positioned outside the back entrance, the cylinders were placed near the front door. “Had we been standing outside the front door, the blast could have killed us. The sound of the blast was so loud that it could be heard even 1.5 km away. The wall of the pump house and a few vehicles parked nearby were damaged in the blast,” Mr. Pawar said. In the explosion, debris hit the firemen and injured them. Mr. Pawar said, “We escaped with minor injuries only because we were wearing helmets. After dousing the fire, we were treated at the NMMC hospital in Vashi.”

On making inquiries with the gas agency, the fire officials learnt that the watchman had procured the cylinders illegally. Mr. Pawar said, “Our higher officers are investigating how the watchman brought the cylinders to the pump house. After a proper inquiry, action will be taken against him.”

Mr. Pawar said the fire engulfed the watchman’s belongings and one of the two cylinders exploded. He said cylinders explode only when temperatures reach 700 degrees Celsius. He said the watchman should have removed the cylinders from the pump house on learning that a fire had erupted.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:51:16 AM |

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