Mumbai

Kurla fire: 28 houses burnt to the ground

All that remains: The leftover part of an exploded cylinder kept on a fire truck on Saturday.

All that remains: The leftover part of an exploded cylinder kept on a fire truck on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choudhary

Residents salvage remains of their belongings; cause yet to be ascertained

The fire at Mehtab Cooperative Housing Society in Kurla on Friday night damaged 28 flats before it was officially declared under control in the wee hours of Saturday.

The blaze broke out at 9.53 p.m. and escalated to a Level III emergency by 10.21 p.m., with 15 fire tenders and water tankers being pressed into service.

“The fire damaged a large part of the electrical wiring and appliances, and household appliances but nobody was reported injured or missing. The flames had to be fought from outside, as cracks had developed in the building’s walls due to LPG cylinders exploding,” chief fire officer Prabhat Rahangdale said.

He said the fire was declared under control at 1.30 a.m. on Saturday, and a team was placed on standby at the spot as a safety measure.

Later in the day, residents of the building were seen milling about, trying to collect whatever belongings they could salvage and work out alternative accommodation arrangements. Many of them told police officers, who were making inquiries at the scene, that they lost almost all their belongings.

Yogesh Gaikwad, a resident, said the building was over 80 years old and had already received a warning from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. “We need to find whatever we can of our belongings as soon as possible. We were told that the building will be demolished in two days. We did our best last night to ensure that everyone was evacuated before the fire could engulf the building completely and the rest of the night was spent in arranging food and water. Residents of nearby societies were very helpful,” he said.

The Kurla police are conducting inquiries and waiting for the fire brigade’s report on the cause of the fire.

“We have found evidence of at least three LPG cylinders exploding inside the building so far. Whether the fire was triggered by one such explosion, or whether it started due to some other reason and caused the cylinders to burst is still being investigated,” senior police inspector Dattatray Shinde, Kurla police station, said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:31:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/kurla-fire-28-houses-burnt-to-the-ground/article30655290.ece

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