Fire-fighting equipment was dysfunctional in bldg

Mumbai : Naman Midtown building at Elphinstone Road where a huge fire broke out on Saturday at 5.19 pm did not have a functional fire-fighting equipment. Deputy Chief Fire Officer S A Kale said the fire-fighting equipment did not work when they entered the building to douse the fire.“We are now investigating the matter to find out why they weren’t working,” Kale said. Similarly, the fire brigade will also be investigating the incident to find out the cause of the fire, which broke out on the first floor of the 21-storey high rise and went up to the 15th floor.

The fire started at around 5.19 pm when the people inside the building started noticing the smoke. “We noticed a lot of smoke in the board room and the washrooms. The floors below were all covered in smoke, so we ran upstairs to the terrace,” said Sanket Bhave (24) a professional at Ashtech Infotech Pvt Ltd on the 10th floor of the building. To douse this major fire, eight fire engines, four water tankers, and four jumbo water tankers were deployed by the Fire Brigade.

In all 24 people were rescued, 17 from the various floors, five from the terrace and two from the 19th floor. All were brought down through the emergency exit of the building, which comprises of a staircase. The lifts had been shut  down. “We had to break several windows for ventilation. All firemen were provided with oxygen masks,” Kale said. The fire brigade also tried to take water from the Indiabulls Finance Centre, but the pipe couldn’t reach that high up. Hence, the water tankers were used.

“The incident was a fortunate one – with no injuries or fatalities. We put in all our efforts to protect the people and ensure minimum damage,” Kale said. The Naman Midtown building occupies a space of 4,50,000 square feet and has two buildings, A-block and B-block. The fire broke out in the former block.

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