We want to spend New Year's at home, Mont Blanc residents

Things are moving at a slow pace for residents of Mont Blanc building at Kemps Corner. A week after a fire blazed their homes, very little has changed, as people are still waiting to shift back into their homes. The building is partly empty - residents of the first five floors have gone back to their houses.

Residents moving out of their homes after the fire at Mont Blanc. File pic

But families on the higher floors are still living with their relatives and friends, as the elevators are not working. Following the fire, which killed seven people, a structural survey was conducted, whose report said that the building was fine and liveable and that after the elevators were functional, residents could move in.

The residents wish to ring in the New Year in their own homes, but only the first five floors are connected to the electricity supply. Jayawanti Anchorwala, a resident of the 25th floor, said, “The society members are working hard on restoring the building. We commissioned a survey of the building and found out that everything is fine and in a livable condition. We hope we can go back before the year ends. This will be possible once the elevators start working.”

Another resident added, “The structure is strong and there are no issues. We have been assured that work will be completed in the next few days.” Cleaning work is still being carried out in the plush 26-storey tower. The 12th floor, the source of the fire, is completely damaged. The fire originated in flat number 1201, which was being renovated. It is owned by the Bansals.

Preliminary reports say a short circuit could have sparked the blaze. Of the seven fatalities, five were workers and helpers at the housing society. It has been decided that their families would be given financial aid, but the society members are yet to decide the compensation amount. Deputy Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale said, “From the records, we will have to check whether the refuge area was proper or not. We will refer to the NOC and whether rules were adhered to. A detailed report is expected in a month’s time.”

Police are yet to record statements of the owners of flat 1201, who had recently bought it. They planned to move in soon, which is why they were getting the flat refurbished. Vinod Kamble, inspector of Malabar Hill police station and investigating officer in the case, said, “We are yet to speak to the owners of 1201 and record their statements. We will do so once everyone returns to the building. As people have moved to other places, it is difficult for us to speak to them.” 

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