The location of the godown in a small bylane, haphazard parking and a crowd of onlookers hampered the fire brigade’s access to the spot
A fire broke out in an MTNL Parel godown around 8 pm last night, gutting the storeroom, generator and a neighbouring cable tower and tree. No casualty was reported.
Ten fire engines and six water tankers were pressed into service by the fire brigade. The blaze was brought under control in time, or it could have spread to the neighbouring chawls. Pics/Bipin Kokate
The Grade-II fire broke out in a generator set in MTNL’s Parel compound. The compound has MTNL offices, a storeroom, and a post office, and is flanked by two chawls — Mauli Chawl and Wani Chawl. It also has two high-rises nearby, as well as the Laxmi Cottage residential area, all connected by extremely narrow lanes.
Parel church is right behind the location of the fire. Around 8 pm, local residents saw smoke emanating from the building, following which the fire brigade was called.
Soon after, four fire engines were sent to the spot. The location, a gathering crowd of onlookers and haphazard parking made it difficult for the fire brigade to reach the spot and conduct firefighting operations. Soon after, six more fire engines and six water tankers were pressed into service, with Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale himself going to the spot.
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Shantaram Chavhan, a resident of the neighbouring Snehdeep Society said, “I was in my house when I saw smoke billowing out from the location. We called the fire brigade and they reached the spot immediately. It
was brought under control in time, otherwise the chawls could have caught fire.”
The fire was brought under control around 9.30 pm. “Our men faced a lot of problems to reach the spot since it is in a bylane off the main road. That was the biggest challenge. Besides, we also had to douse the tower that was on fire. Thankfully there were no casualties. Only office furniture was gutted,” said Rahangdale.
Local MLA Ajay Chaudhari, who had come to the location, lauded the fire brigade’s efforts. “They reached the spot immediately and took control of the situation. We helped them identify the best possible way of reaching the spot,” he said.