Five firemen had been injured during rescue operations at Mont Blanc at Kemps Corner, which caught fire on the evening of December 13, killing seven people.
The five firefighters had suffered burns up to 27 per cent, but are now slowly recovering from their wounds. MiD DAY had profiled the men and their families in its article (‘They play with fire to keep us safe’, December 17).
For the five who had been admitted to the National Burns Centre (NBC) in Airoli, two had to undergo a skin grafting procedure, since the extent of the burns was large. The operation was done last week. All five are stable and are recuperating in the general ward of the hospital.
Mahendra Desai (47), fire station officer at Gowalia Tank fire station, suffered 17 per cent burns on his face, hand and shoulder. Kamlakar Waman Karnekar (48), fireman at Gowalia Tank fire station, suffered 14 per cent burns partially on his hands, face and chest.
Meanwhile, station officer Rajendra Dhande (43), from Byculla fire station, got 7 per cent burns, and fireman Sandeep Kumar Godke (26) from Gowalia Tank fire station had 19 per cent burns. The most affected was Sunil Naik from Gowalia Tank fire station, who was left with 27 per cent burns. All of them had rushed up the building towards the 12th floor, the source of the fire. They were exposed to the flames directly, when a cylinder exploded on the floor.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Neha Karnekar, Kamlakar’s wife, said that her husband was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of NBC for the first few days, but after a skin grafting surgery, he was moved to the general ward and now is stable. NBC has a skin bank of its own, from where skin was taken to treat the two injured men.
“The two firemen in the ICU were operated upon and skin from the skin bank was required to be used, as injuries on their hands were deep. If it was not operated upon in time, it could’ve led to a deformity as well,” said Dr Sunil Keswani, medical director of National Burns Centre, Airoli. He added that the men would be discharged in the next two weeks, depending on the extent to which their wounds healed.