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Mumbai: Fire from puja causes cylinder blast in Mazgaon, six injured

Six people were injured when they jumped from the window of a first-floor house which caught fire at Mazgaon on Wednesday evening. They have been admitted to the J J Hospital for treatment and are stable. The fire began around 5.30 pm after a havan at the Baikar family’s house in the three-storey Taadwadi BIT chawl building number four.

The damaged interior of the house. (Insert) The house owner’s son, Roshan Baikar, said the injured were all his relatives
The damaged interior of the house. (Insert) The house owner’s son, Roshan Baikar, said the injured were all his relatives

According to other residents of the building, the fire began when flames from the havan spread to a small gas cylinder placed close to it. The fire then spread to saris and electrical wires hanging along a wall in the passage close by. Soon, it spread to about five other houses on the floor.

The house on the first floor of Taadwadi building at Mazgaon that caught fire
The house on the first floor of Taadwadi building at Mazgaon that caught fire

Residents say those there had enough time to move out. At the time of the incident there were eight people in the house. In an attempt to save themselves from the intense heat and smoke, six of them panicked and jumped from a window that was around 15-20 feet above the ground.

Those injured include Rajshri Chavarkar (33), Pooja Chavarkar (21), Nanda Chavarkar (45), Ankita Chavarkar (20), Sanjay Dhamale (34) and Mahadev Chavarkar (55). There were no major injuries. But, Mahadev fractured his right leg while Ankita has hurt her back. The other two people, who were rescued later as they were unable to jump from the window, include the house owner Gangaram Baikar, (55) and his wife, Supriya (45).

Additional Divisional Fire Officer S D Sawant said, “We are investigating the exact cause of the fire. The report will be completed in the next three days. Primarily, it looks like the fire started from the havan kund.” According to another fire officer, “The house has been renovated and they had organised a puja for the same.”

Baikars’ son Roshan (26), who was at work when the incident occurred, however said, “My aunt, cousins and uncles came for the puja on the occasion of Navratri. After the puja, the havan kund was kept near a door. In the evening, because of the strong wind, the flames spread to the cylinder and clothes kept near it.

Within a few minutes, the fire spread in the house and nobody was able to see anything. So, they all jumped from the window.” After hearing their cries, other residents and people from a neighbouring building came to the rescue and used a ladder to get the Baikars out.

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