Residents of New Gulmohar society, at Samata Nagar in Thane, who woke up to an inferno that swept the 10th floor of their building on Sunday morning are finding ways to get back to their normal lives. The fire claimed the lives of an elderly couple, Nirmala (78) and Shivajirao Choughule (84).
The two lifts (far left) of the building sported a sign saying that the lifts are non functional and residents will have to make use of the staircase. Pics/Sameer Markande
Two others Ranjana Sawe (45) and her son Vikramaditya (17) were injured. With inadequate water supply and no electricity after the fire, the occupants of the 10-storey building are finding it difficult to occupy their homes.
New Gulmohar building in Samata Nagar, where the fire broke out on Sunday morning
Most of the society members of this plush society are seeking refuge in their relatives or friends’ homes. However, residents inhabiting the lower floors have decided to make some adjustments and stay in the building itself.
Lifts non functional
The two lifts of the building have been rendered non-functional after the fire. Residents will have to make use of the staircase. Umesh Shetty, who lives on the fifth floor of the building with his family, said that they have no other option than to use the staircase.
The medical condition of Vikramaditya, who was injured in this fire, is serious, as he suffered 50 per cent burns. Doctors at the National Burns Centre (NBC) in Airoli, where the boy is admitted, said the teen is currently in the ICU of the hospital and underwent surgery last morning.
Dr S M Keswani, medical director of NBC, said that they would be using skin from the hospital’s skin bank for the treatment. “The boy has suffered close to 50 per cent burns, but fortunately his face has not been scarred in the accident.
Thus, we have decided to operate on him. Initially, the patient is never in a condition to donate his own skin and therefore, we require skin from the skin bank,” said Dr Keswani. Relatives of the injured who were at the hospital attending to the injured boy refused to speak to the media.
'Rescue ladder wasn’t tall enough'
The disaster management officials from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) said that it took nearly two hours to douse the flames. Santosh Kadam, disaster management officer, TMC said, “It took a considerable amount of time to put out the flames. An elderly couple died on the spot after the flames surrounded the entire room.”
When mid–day spoke to Sandip Malvi, deputy commissioner (HQ), fire brigade, TMC, he said, “The highest ladder we have is only up to the eighth floor, and the home where the fire broke out was on the tenth floor, which was a duplex flat. We had to rescue the mother and son who were trying to escape from the terrace ledge, and bring them down.
The two people who passed away in this fire were sleeping on the top level of the duplex, and therefore, by the time our fire officials tried reaching there and putting out the fire, they were already charred to death.” He further added that a large quantity of wooden furniture in the room caused the flames to spread faster.
“The fire spread very quickly on account of the large furniture. We also had huge machinery in order to douse the fire, but it took a long time for us to set them up, as there were parking issues in the society,” added Malvi.
>> Two people dead, one severely injured with 50 per cent burns
>> Building elevators are not operational
>> Fire dept didn’t have a tall ladder