Mumbai Fire Brigade to inspect all malls across city

Following the massive blaze that gutted hundreds of shop at City Center Mall in Nagpada on October 23, that took 56 hours for the firefighters to bring under control, the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) has ordered for an inspection and fire audit of all malls across the city.

Starting next Monday, teams of Mumbai Fire Brigade will commence the inspection of malls across the city.

Elaborating on the inspection, CFO Shashikant A Kale told the Free Press Journal that it is very important to inspect the firefighting equipment in all the malls.

"These malls will be reopening after several months. Hence, it is important to ensure that the firefighting equipment at these malls is in place. Whether the equipment installed at these malls are functional, are these malls complying with all the fire safety norms. Nagpada mall fire incident was very unfortunate, we were always going to start inspecting malls for fire safety, as they have been shut for months," said Kale.

Nearly 250 firefighters and 228 water tankers were deployed to extinguish the blaze and bring the situation under control. Total six firefighters sustained minor injuries and suffered suffocation during the firefighting operations. It took firefighters almost 56 hours to douse the fire and it was one of the longest firefighting operations ever.

The fire was initially labelled as Level 1 but escalated to Level 5 (a Brigade call)

The firefighting system in the City Centre Mall was not functioning properly firefighters on the spot has said. An investigation to ascertain the cause of fire is underway and a report of the same is expected by Monday or Tuesday next week.

"There are a total of 1,200 shops at the City Centre Mall in Nagpada of which 400 have been destroyed completely. We managed to save the remaining 700 shops. The fire was a huge challenge for us as most of the shops had stored material five times the capacity of the units/shops. Furthermore, the majority of the shops had stored a minimum 40 litres of sanitisers. All these factors made the task tough and escalated the fire," Kale said.

"If this system was operational, the fire could have been brought under control in time. However, it has been decided to check the firefighting system in all the malls in Mumbai to prevent such incidents in other places in future. All fire stations have been notified soon," said a senior official.

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