Mumbai: A fire broke out in the 32-storey high-rise ‘Legend Towers’ at Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, on Monday evening. It erupted in the duplex flat on the 17th and the 18th floor in a building owned by Vimal Shah, owner of Aakruti Builders.
Shah’s daughter-in-law and two maids were in the house at the time. A bigger mishap was averted because the fire-fighting equipment of the building was fully operational. The building has sprinklers and the society members themselves switched on the devices to douse the fire. The laudable effort of the residents in the golden hours helped redeem what could have been an irretrievable situation, said the Divisional Fire Officer.
Of course, four fire tenders and water takers assisted in the effort and within two and half hours the blaze was completely doused. But the district fire officer said the entire 18th floor had been gutted and ducts of the flat were filled with water.
The building watchman confirmed that during the fire there were four occupants inside the flat of which two were housekeeping staff; they immediately evacuated the house and there were no casualties. The fire was confined to the electrical wiring, installation, carpets and decoratives on the 17th floor.
The building residents were caught unawares but evacuated without fuss; also, there was no needless chaos. The two elevators were shut down and residents were asked to take the stairs instead. The fire brigade official said, “The fire was swiftly controlled due to functioning of the fire-fighting installations.”
“We could see flames emanating from the windows of the flat; in fact, smoke had engulfed the entire area,’’ said a resident in the opposite building. Legend Tower was built by Bharat Shah, also known as the diamond king. Most apartments are of those in the diamond business. “Yes, we had built this building and we had handed it over to the society in 2010. But we have no locus in it at all,” said Rajiv Shah, entrepreneur and son of Bharat Shah.
The DFO said, even though the fire-fighting equipment was operational, an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause and spread of fire. A report on the extent of damage will also be submitted on Tuesday after site inspection; thereafter, a notice will be sent to the owner for the flat where the mishap occurred. The fire initially erupted on the 18th floor and later moved to the 17th. As a precautionary measure, lights of the duplex flat have been switched off and the lifts in the passage have been shut down.