Fire breaks out in a SRA building in Vikhroli from the meter box and spreads to upper floors through the lift shaft; residents says Fire Brigade ignored minor fires
Mumbai : Four people were roasted alive and eight suffered burn injuries when a fire broke out in a seven-storey SRA building at Siddharth Nagar in suburban Vikhroli at 2:30 am on Monday.
Fire officials as well as residents said the fire started from the meter box on the ground floor and spread to the fifth, sixth, and the seventh floor through the lift shaft.
This is the fifth instance this year of fires originating from meter boxes of buildings. In all, these fires have claimed 14 lives.
Residents said there had been four instances of minor fires in the same meter box over the year but the fire brigade never took it seriously. “Fire officials visited our place and assured us that the problem had been fixed,” said Sandesh Nivalkar, a resident.
Though residents of the fifth and the sixth floor rushed out of the building before the fire had spread, four residents of the seventh floor died while eight others on the floor sustained serious injuries.
The fire brigade’s snorkel ladders could not be used as the vehicles could not climb up the small hill on which the building is situated.
“I saw fire emanating from the meter box number two of the building and alerted my neighbours. By the time everybody could be woken up, the fire had already reached the fifth and the sixth floor through the lift column,” said Vijay Hake (23), who witnessed the fire from the building across the road.
“The building houses over 70 to 75 families with 11 flats on each floor and seven floors in total. Apart from the building which caught fire, there are other four whose meter box is in similar condition. The lives of 270 families in the compound are at stake,” said Vicky Mahane, a resident. All the four deceased are members of the same family. Their names are Gautam Shigvan (55), Poornima Shigvan (50), Vishal Shigvan (25), Ayush Shardul (5).
“They were already dead when they arrived in the hospital. All four of them had suffered 70% to 90% of injuries and there were very bleak chances of their survival. Others are recuperating well,” said Vijay Chopde, Senior Superintendent of Rajawadi hospital.
The others who were injured in the incident are Vikas Sigvan (26), Gunaji Yadav (67), Siddhesh Patkar (23), Balkrishn Amboli (45), Rahul Ingle 31 and Vanita Ambole (45).