Kalbadevi fire: BMC to look after families of dead firemen

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said it would look after the families of the two firemen who lost their lives while battling a blaze in a building here two days ago.

Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar has given instructions to clear all compensation and other dues of the deceased firefighters within a week.

A family member of the firemen would also be given civic jobs, while the BMC will bear all educational expenses of their children.

Arrangements shall also be made to provide their families with houses in the city, Ambekar added.

In a tragedy that has shaken the civic establishment, two firefighters fighting a blaze in Gokul Niwas building in south Mumbai were reported missing and the building suddenly collapsed late on Saturday.

After hours of firefighting and clearing the debris, the bodies of M.M. Desai and S.W. Rane were recovered early on Sunday.

Two other senior officers were also injured in the blaze.

Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar suffered around 50 percent burns and Deputy CFO S.G. Amin was battling for life with around 80 percent burns at the National Burns Centre in Navi Mumbai.

The BMC on Monday also cleared Amin's promotion due since more than five months, and has ordered a probe into the incident, which would be completed within three weeks.

The mayor also announced that an audit of all fire-prone buildings in the city would be completed within a month to take further remedial measures, and that fire hydrants would be revived around buildings which were inaccessible for the fire brigade.

All the four firemen had rendered sterling services during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and Amin was awarded the President's Gold Medal for Bravery.

This was the second major traumatic incident in the past 10 months for the city fire brigade - officially existing since April 1887.

On July 18 last year, a firemen was killed on duty while battling a blaze at Lotus Business Park, a commercial high-rise in Andheri west.

Following the incident, the then CFO A.N. Verma was demoted and the BMC elevated his deputy, Sunil Nesarikar as CFO.

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