The fire that broke out at a 19th floor flat in Jolly Maker-I building at Cuffe Parade during the wee hours of yesterday has brought to the fore that no fire audit has been conducted on the structure since the past year and a half.
Fire audit of all high-rise buildings is mandatory every six months, but Jolly Maker-I building had failed to get its audit done as per mandate.
The fire that broke out at 3.30 am gutted the flat, but fortunately did not spread to other flats in the 25-storeyed building. According to fire officials, the blaze took a long time to contain because the internal fire-safety resources, which are a mandate for all high-rises, are outdated and do not function.
The Fire Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be issuing a notice to Jolly Maker-I, seeking an explanation as to why the procedure has not been done.
Though the fire department has been monitoring fire-safety measures of at least 70 buildings per week across the 24 wards in the city — with the tallest buildings being checked first — fire-related incidents are still being reported.
The 25-storeyed building has 180 flats and boasts being one of the richest housing societies in the city. The blaze started at flat 1901 on the 19th floor, and the fire brigade rescued around 28 people during the operation. The 1,500-sq ft flat was gutted and it took nine fire engines and the contents of six water tankers to contain the blaze.
According to the fire department, there are approximately 2,647 high-rises in the city and the fire brigade has sufficient equipment to meet any eventuality. The officials stressed on the fact that internal resources are crucial in the event of a fire in all buildings.
A source in the fire department said, “The audit was done one-and-half years ago. It took long to contain the fire, as the building’s internal resources were of no use. Internal resource is a mandate for all high-rises. We will be sending them [Jolly Maker-I] a notice on this.”
When asked whether the audit was done at the building or not and regarding serving notice, Chief Fire Officer SV Joshi said, “I cannot provide you with any data as of now, today being a Sunday. Looking after audits is something that is done by my subordinates. You need to check with my deputy for such information.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer P S Rahandale said, “The audit of this building was not done and we will take the necessary action.”