Fire in Mumbai's Malabar Hill building, 18 rescued

Las Palmas on Malabar Hill.

Las Palmas on Malabar Hill.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

One fireman admitted to G.T. Hospital

Eighteen people were rescued after a fire broke out in a Malabar Hill highrise late on Wednesday night. The building’s firefighting system was found to be non-functional and the narrow lanes leading up to it also posed a challenge .

One fireman Rahul Kawle has been admitted to G.T. Hospital’s ICU for suffocation.

The fire broke out on the fifth floor of Las Palmas building on Little Gibbs road around 8.08 p.m. By 8.26 p.m. the fire was declared level 3 (medium) and eight fire engines, and seven jumbo tankers were deployed.

Fire brigade officials said, the fire broke out in Flat Number 52 on the fifth floor of the building and gradually started spreading to the staircase lobby and the upper floors. At least 18 people were rescued from the building and no casualty was reported among the residents. By 10.30 p.m. the fire was brought under control but the cause of fire was yet to be ascertained.

Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said the fire had covered the entire staircase lobby on the fifth and sixth floor. “People were stuck on the fifth floor and above. Those on the lower floors had managed to escape but those on the upper floors could not find their way out. We managed to control the fire from spreading above the seventh floor and people in that severely affected area were assisted with breathing apparatus,” Mr. Rahangdale said.

“Some residents, including a senior citizen, were on the terrace. We stationed a fireman with them and let them stay at the top till we finished dousing the fire. Some others were rescued by using ladders,” he added.

The building is at a dead end and the sea breeze was fuelling the fire. The narrow entrance of the old building also made it difficult to deploy water tankers. The fire fighting system too was not working, Mr. Rahangdale said.

Shirin Mirchandani, a senior citizen living in the adjacent Flat Number 53, said, “I was at home along with my neighbour when another neighbour came and alerted us about the fire. We waited till the firemen came and led us out of the building.”

Surendra Yadav (24), a house help, said he and his friend climbed down from the seventh floor through a water pipe.

“We first tried to run through the stairs but the staircase was covered in smoke and we were not able to see anything. We stepped out of the window and climbed down through a pipe,” said Mr. Yadav adding that the owners of the house were later rescued by the firemen.

Celebrity choreographer Shiamak Davar also rushed to the spot to meet one of his friends who lives in the building.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 11:37:19 PM |

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