Mumbai:  A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI
Mumbai: A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI

The Mumbai police, Navy, fire brigade rose to the occasion to bring yesterday’s South Mumbai’s fire under control; A cabbie turned good Samaritan and transferred tourists free of charge.

Navy Rose to the occasion

The MCGM had fallen short of water to douse off the fire as the fire hydrant had reached its limit point. However, the tankers which were sent for refilling were reaching the spot late because of the traffic. Help from the Navy and three private water tankers were called, for the cooling operation. A senior fire official on the condition of anonymity said, “The flow of water of the Navy was 15 times more than that of the MCGM.”

Storing it for posterity

Tourists and Mumbaikars alike were seen taking pictures and videos of the fire and uploading them on social networking sites.

Sudan tourists evacuated

More than 60 tourists from Sudan, a country in North Africa were staying in this building. The MCGM fire brigade evacuated two tourists from Sudan who were stuck on the second floor, Sonuhori (25) said, “I came to Mumbai for six hours with my friend as we had a flight to Sudan tonight. As soon the officials informed us that there is a fire in the building we ran leaving behind our luggage and my friend (not willing to relieve the name) ran somewhere.”

BMC assures tourists

AMC Kundan assured tourists who lost their luggage and passports in the fire that they will be re-recognizing their identities and sending them back to their respective countries.

Mumbai: A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI
Mumbai: A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI

Poor fire safety standards

KalpanaShivpuri (48) who resides on third floor of Abdul Rahim mansion says she was shocked to see the fire in her building, alleging that the fire was a result of the over congestion in the building due to several guest houses and also due to the number of offices located in the building premises. She said, “This 150-year-old building was over congested and I am sure that the building was in no way a ‘fire compliant’ structure as there was not even a single fire extinguisher installed in the building.”

According to Shivpuri, the ground plus four floors building has around five to six guest house in it with hundreds of international guests, along with several shops and offices.

She alleged that the locals in the area had called the fire brigade just after a few minutes when the fire started, but the fire brigade arrived around half an hour late.

Good Samaritan cabbie

Setting an example for his fellow cab drivers, Gufran Ahmed (28) who is a common face for the tourists visiting Mumbai, helped several tourists who were rescued from the fire gutted Abdul Rehman Mansion, and assured that they reach at other safe places.

Since the building had several guest house hosting tourists mostly from Africa many had left their passports and other necessary belongings in the fire.

But during this incident, Ahmed drove many tourists to safe places.

“I dropped nearly 10 tourists to other hotels from my cab but since they all were in stress, I didn’t ask a single penny from them,” said Ahmed.

He added, “Some of them insisted me to take the travelling charge but I denied taking.”

New guest house bore the bruntIn the ground plus four floors building which has several guest houses, one Marine Guest House was opened just two months before. Since the guest house owner was not in a state to speak, locals of the building informed that the owner had pooled in lakhs of rupees to start this guest house.

This newly opened guest house which is lavish with beautiful and eye catchy interiors, is said to have become one of the favorite guest houses of majority of the tourists. But the irony is that this guest house was majorly damaged. All the furniture, interiors in the guest house is said to be destroyed totally.

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