Two flats were gutted in a major fire that broke out on the top floor of a residential highrise near IMAX, Wadala on Thursday. The blace, which occurred around 3.50 pm on the 17th floor of the ‘B-wing’ of Mount Alps, has been classified Grade-II. Each floor in the highrise has four flats.
The fire brigade rescued 17 persons, mostly senior citizens and women. No injuries have been reported so far.
“The building’s risers were partially functional. For the first 15 minutes, we used their fire-fighting mechanisms but suddenly the water flow to these stopped due to a technical problem. So we brought out the snorkels and other appliances to douse the fire,” said deputy chief fire officer P S Rahangdale. “As the society’s fire-fighting systems were working, it helped us during the crucial initial response time. It is unclear why the water supply from the risers’ panels stopped later — we are investigating the matter.”
The fire brigade took over two hours to extinguish the blaze. Eight fire engines, three fire appliances and one breathing assistance ambulance were dispatched to the spot. Sub-divisional fire officer S D Sawant said, “We rescued people mainly from the lower floors using the staircase. There was a lot of smoke, which causing trouble for senior citizens.” He added that investigations into the cause and assessment of damage were under way.
According to the residents, the two flats gutted belong to one family. Santosh Dadich has been identified as the owner of the two flats. “When the fire broke out, the family was away and the flat was locked. The fire brigade told us that the cause of the fire could be a short circuit,” said Dr S D Dixit, a resident.
Mount Alps and Mount Everest Housing Society chairman Dilip Oak said, “We will have a society meeting to see how such incidents can be prevented in future. Residents who have to go out can perhaps leave their keys with neighbours. As gas cylinders are used in many households, it could be a major safety hazard.”
Society treasurer Bhavin Shah said, “We have an annual fire systems maintenance contract for the building. We even have mock drills and checks on systems every six months.”