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Life lost amid flames: Meter room fire claims 74-year-old in Mumbai

Fire brigade officials said soon after fire started in the meter room of the three-storey Malad building, black smoke engulfed the entire building, forcing residents to leave their flats to escape thick smoke

A 74-year-old man died of suffocation and four others complained of asphyxiation after a fire engulfed a building in Malad (W) yesterday.

A fire at a three-storey building in Malad (W) claimed the life of a 74-year-old resident
A fire at a three-storey building in Malad (W) claimed the life of a 74-year-old resident

Residents of Shwet Sagar building said the fire started in the meter room of the three-storey building, sending plumes of black smoke into the stairway, making it difficult to breathe.

Gulabbhai Rathod, who died after inhaling thick smoke
Gulabbhai Rathod, who died after inhaling thick smoke

Neighbours of the deceased person, identified as Gulabbhai Rathod, said the senior citizen was making his way to the terrace from his second-floor flat to escape the smoke, but by the time he reached the top he became breathless.

The fire had started in the meter room of the buiding. Pics/Nayan Sahane
The fire had started in the meter room of the buiding. Pics/Nayan Sahane

Rathod was rushed to a nearby hospital, but pronounced dead before arrival by the doctors. The four other residents were also rushed to the hospital, but were discharged after a few hours.

The fire was reported at 6.45 am and took the fire brigade officials 25 minutes to douse the flames. A senior fire officer, who was present at spot, said, “The fire was limited to the meter room, but the smoke had reached all three floors.

The fire was doused in 15 minutes, but the cooling operations took an hour. Some residents complained of suffocation and we took them to the hospital, where one was declared dead.”

Terrifying ordeal
Induben Asra (68), who resides in the building, said, “My neighbour witnessed the blast in the meter room and alerted all of us. I usually wake up at 9 am. Had it not been for her, I would still be in bed.” “The building is old and needs repairs. I hope they will be done now,” said Tarun Vira, another resident.

Third fire incident within a week
>> On Sunday, a massive fire gutted a tyre manufacturing unit, situated alongside the Nahur suburban railway station near Bhandup in north-eastern Mumbai. One person was reported hurt.

>> On Thursday, an inferno engulfed Kranti Fireworks at Bhaimala village, 10 km from Alibaug. At least 6 people were killed and 17 were injured in the incident.

>> Deceased person used to reside in the second-floor flat 
>> He was making his way to the terrace to escape the smoke
>> Rushed to a local hospital, but declared dead before arrival

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1 Comments

  • John Doe01-Mar-2014

    Is somebody from Building/CHS made responsible for weekly visits to the so called Meter Room which is becomes a unauthorized Store Room with extremely poor ventilation/dangling wires,etc.

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