ONE PERSON was killed and 12 others sustained injuries, including four policemen, in a fire that broke out in a commercial building in Ghatkopar.
The fire erupted inside the common meter box of Vishwash Building at 2.08 pm. The seven-storeyed building, located near the Ghatkopar station, has a restaurant on the ground floor and several offices on the floors above. A hospital is located behind the building.
The Mumbai Fire Brigade deployed five fire engines and four jumbo tankers for firefighting operations. The flames were doused at 4.05 pm.
“The fire didn’t spread… It was mainly due to the smoke that people suffered. The fire originated inside the common meter room on the ground floor, and as there were combustible materials like unused clothes and furniture in the room, the flames and smoke intensified and spread to the nearby buildings,” said Sanjay Manjrekar, Chief Fire Officer (CFO). “The fire might have occurred due to a shock circuit as witnesses noticed sparks from the room.”
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Sanjay Sonawane, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, under whose jurisdiction the incident spot falls, said that most of the injured were patrons visiting a restaurant. The rest were staffers from offices and students who had come for private tuition, which was in progress on the top floor of an adjoining building.
“There was a hospital just adjacent the building… there was a common staircase in the middle of the two structures. Above the staircase, there were electrical wires and ducts, from where sparks were reported. It could be one of the reasons that led to the fire breaking out inside the metre room,” Sonawane said.
“While all were evacuated from the building, the deceased was a staffer in a office,” he said.
Identified as Korshi Dedhia (46), he was brought to the Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared brought dead. Policemen Jay Yadav (51), Sanjay Tadavi (40), Prabhu Swami (38) and Nitin Visavkar (35) inhaled smoke and were hospitalised.
Among the other injured, a 30-year-old man is admitted in the ICU and is said to be critical. Most of the injured suffered from asphyxiation due to inhalation of smoke, while one also sustained 20 per cent burns.