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Lotus Business Park fire: Fire official demoted

The fallout from the fire at a Mumbai upscale commercial high-rise in Andheri that broke on July 18 has claimed a senior fire offical. While the one of the reasons for the fire spreading at the Andheri business park was the glass facade of the building, authorities have held that Chief Fire Officer (in-charge) AN Verma was negligent in his fulfilling his responsibilities and inefficient.

The fire that broke out on July 18 around 9.45 am injured 20 firemen and claimed the life of one firefighter. The initial draft report states that a defective electric circuit caused the fire in the central server room on the building’s 20th floor.

Sanjay Deshmukh, Additional Municipal Commissioner, has given fire officer, S Nesarikar, the additional charge of Chief Fire Officer and demoted Verma to deputy chief.

The alleged 'lethargic' attitude of Verma is believed to be the main reason for this action. According to sources, Verma was not available at the site of the fire to take charge and also according to the authorities was inefficient in handling the department.

Nesarikar is now Chief Fire Officer and deputy chief fire officer of the western suburban areas.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Deshmukh, who's in-charge of the Mumbai Fire Brigade department, said, "Verma was inefficient and he was not proactive during last two major fire calls in the city, he didn't take the inspection of fire stations seriously. I was thinking about this for a long time but post the Andheri fire I decided to go ahead and look for a new name."

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