Mumbai: Residents douse flames as traffic, narrow lanes delays fire brigade

A minor fire broke out in a four-storey residential building in Mangaldas Market; since the fire officials couldn’t reach on time due to traffic and the narrow lanes, residents arranged for water and fire extinguishers themselves

A minor fire broke out on Thursday morning in a residential building near Mangaldas Market, allegedly due to a short circuit in an air-conditioning unit. Since the fire brigade couldn’t arrive on time, residents got together to douse the fire with extinguishers and water themselves.

The fire broke at 11 am on the terrace of residential building number 2 of the busy south Mumbai market. Residents noticed smoke emanating from an Airtel cabin set up on the third-floor terrace to hold broadband equipment. Residents soon called the fire brigade, but due to the traffic and narrow lanes, they had difficulty in getting their equipment.

The broadband equipment cabin on top of the residential building number 2 at Mangaldas Market, from where the fire began
The broadband equipment cabin on top of the residential building number 2 at Mangaldas Market, from where the fire began

With the fire spreading and burning wires of air-conditioners and other equipment, residents brought drums filled with water and started pouring it on the flames from the fourth floor. Sadhana Bamne, a fourth-floor resident, supplied water from a drum she had filled for daily use. Piyush Shah, a shop owner, along with others, arranged for 12 fire extinguishers.

When the fire brigade reached with one water tank and two fire engines, the flames had been put out. A fire official said, “We got a call at 11 and reached the spot at 11.38 am. We got delayed due to traffic and the small lanes.” Officials then began smoke removal and further cooling process.

Sumit Parnav, an Airtel engineer present at the spot, denied that a short circuit could’ve caused it. He said that, since it is the Diwali festival, it could probably be a stray spark or firecracker. “We will send our technicians to know the exact cause,” he said.

Voices

Rajesh Parekh resident
We called the fire brigade but they got delayed due to traffic. Hence, we started to douse the fire ourselves.

Sadhana Bamne resident
I provided a drum of water from my house to put out the flames.

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