A major fire broke out at the Koregaon Park Plaza, a shopping mall in the city, last evening. No casualties were reported. The incident took place just hours after a devastating fire at Mantralaya in Mumbai.
People were evacuated from the mall as soon as the fire was noticed. The fire was still on at the time of going to press. Several retail outlets are housed in the mall and the fire destroyed merchandise like garments, shoes, bags and other items on display in different stores. Fire brigade officials said they suspected a short circuit.
Nine water tankers were pressed into service to douse the fire. Ten people were rescued from the mall. “We received a call at 5.38 pm and rushed water tenders to the spot,” Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise said. “Going by preliminary observations, we think the fire was due to a short circuit. It is difficult to say anything more at this point as we are still trying to douse the fire.”
Sidharth Sehgal, security in-charge of Koregaon Park Plaza, said smoke was first noticed from a store on the first floor. “We discovered the fire in the afternoon after smoke started coming out from one of the retail shops on the first floor,” Sehgal said. He said evacuation of people from the mall began within seconds and attempts were made to bring the fire under control.
The fire brigade was called as the intensity of the fire and smoke increased. “It would be very difficult to say how much property was gutted in the fire as there is thick smoke inside the plaza and the fire brigade officials and our fire-fighting teams are still trying to douse the fire,” Sehgal said.
Lensmen covering fire roughed up by mall security guards
Photographers and television cameramen trying to capture images of the fire incident were roughed up by the security guards posted at the mall entrance yesterday. The guards manhandled the lensmen and told them to stop taking pictures.