49-year-old firefighter Bhagwat Nikam from Vikroli fire station sustained injuries while dousing a major blaze that took place at a garment godown in Ghatkopar's CSD Estate early morning on Saturday
A major fire broke out at CSD Estate in Ghatkopar early morning on Saturday at around 6.30 am inside the Universal Textile Private Limited garment godown. The blaze was so huge that 18 fire engines had to be deployed to the spot. 49-year-old firefighter Bhagwat Nikam from the Vikroli fire station sustained injuries while dousing the fire.
Fireman Bhagwat Nikam, who got injured while dousing the fire surrounded by his family members at Rajawadi Hospital. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Members of the fire brigade were able to bring the blaze under control by 10:15 am. "Within minutes fire tenders from Vikroli fire station rushed to the spot. Soon more engines rushed to the spot from other stations across Mumbai. Six jumbo tankers had to be called to control the situation. Total 18 fire engines were called," said a fire officer.
The fire broke out on early Saturday morning
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained however fire department officials hinted that the it may have been caused due to a short circuit in the electrical section of the godown. "The godown had garments stored in it and hence the fire started spreading rapidly. We brought it under control at 10.15 am, however the cooling process will continue for few more hours," added fire officials.
49-year-old Bhagwat Nikam had a miraculous escape on Saturday morning. Speaking to mid day, Nikam who has been in the service since 19 years shared his experience. According to Nikam, while the dousing process was in full swing, the roof of the ground plus one stroey godown came crashing down. "There was immense heat and smoke inside the godown. I was dousing the fire with my subordinate when suddenly the roof crashed a few inches away from us. He managed to escape, but some heavy material fell on my right legs. I somehow managed to get out of the fire area, as soon as I came out I couldn't move my right leg," Nikam said.
Firefighters during the dousing process
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Nikam suffered an injury on his right knee and is currently receiving treatment at Rajawadi hospital in Ghatkopar.
Need for good treatment
Meanwhile, Nikam's family members expressed their discontent over the treatment given to the injured fireman by the department. "Injured firemen are rushed to government hospitals where the treatment is pathetic. Further, claim for the medical expenses is also very insufficient as a result of which getting treatment in private hospitals becomes difficult. A fireman who risks his life every time during such incidents must get sophisticated medical treatment when injured on duty," said Bhagwat Nikam's brother, Ramesh.
The fire may have spread quickly due to the presence of the garments stored in the godown, feel fire department officials
This was first such major incident in his career till date, Bhagwat Nikam revealed. "I have sustained minor injuries several times in my 19-year career. However, this was the biggest of them all. When the roof came crashing down injuring my leg, for a second I felt as if it was the last day of my life," he added.
Senior fire officials stated that Bhagwat Nikam, who has sustained a fracture would be shifted to Fortis Hospital in Kalyan.