Among the five residents who sustained severe burn injuries, is a three-year-old boy. The incident took place at 2 am yesterday, and the residents said fire brigade officials took one hour to douse the flames and another two hours to clear thebuilding.
The injured were identified as Vijay Thorat (40), Mohan Chaudhari (28), Madanlal Bagade (40), Sapna Bagade (16) and Sanjo Mohan Chaudhari (3).
Narrating the incident, residents said their sleep was disturbed by a loud cracking sound and when they rushed to see what had happened they saw that the building was covered in thick clouds of smoke.
Kiran Valhekar, one of the residents, said at least thirty motorcycles, including his, were destroyed in the fire. “More than fifty residents were trapped on the second and the third floor. It was difficult exit the building as the porch leading to the ground floor was covered in flames and smoke,” Valhekar said.
Officials from the Pradhikaran Fire Station said they suspect short circuit as the cause of fire. Fireman Dhnyaneshwar Bhalekar fireman said he received a call a person named Dhananjay Bhalekar, informing him about fire.
Bhalekar claimed the firefighting team rescued eight people who were trapped in a balcony and another 40 from the building’s terrace. He said several sustained minor injuries to their hands while trying to grab iron railings on the staircase in the dark.
Police Sub-Inspector Rangaro Pawar said the godown owner and the tenant were arrested for storing explosive substance illegally. “The duo were identified as Vikas Bhalekar (36) and Ashok Bhoite (50),” Pawar said.
Pawar said all those who sustained bur injuries in the incident were stable.