Firefighters rescue civilians from the terrace of Om Heera Panna Mall in Jogeshwari West on Friday. Pics/Anurag Ahire
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Two people were seriously injured after a fire broke out in an electric duct in the three-storey Om Heera Panna Mall near Oshiwara police station in Jogeshwari West on Friday afternoon. More than 500 people who were inside the building managed to run outside after learning about the blaze, but four civilians, who had inhaled smoke, had to be rushed to Kokilaben hospital.
While two, Mitesh Sheth, 39, and Sachin More, 41, were discharged later in the day, Raj Pribhdas Israni, 69, and Amruta Mukesh Sagar, 39, are in
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Fourteen people, including a woman, who were stranded in the gym on the third floor and various shops, were rescued with the help of ladders after the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) arrived. Three firefighters - Sandip Patil, Raju Shingankar and Yogesh Kondawar - were admitted to nearby civic hospitals after suffocating on fumes. They are said to be stable. There was no functional fire-fighting system in place at the mall and the MFB will serve the establishment a notice in this regard.
The MFB received a call around 3.10 pm about the fire in the mall; 12 fire engines with 10 jumbo water tankers were rushed to the spot. Five small hose lines and one high-pressure first aid line of motor pumps were used to douse the flames. The fire brigade declared the blaze a level-2 fire which was raised to level-3 after half an hour. The fire was confined to electric wiring and electrical installations in 10 to 12 shops on the second and third floors. The building was evacuated by shopkeepers and customers before the arrival of the fire brigade. But a few persons were stranded on the top floor as heavy smoke spread across the mall and hampered visibility. Nine persons stranded on the terrace were rescued using a turntable ladder while two were saved using an Angus ladder. The remaining three were brought down by the stairs.
Kashinath Deshmukh, who has a real estate shop on the second floor, said, "We heard a loud noise. It was people screaming about a fire. Heavy flames were coming out from the duct near shop number 38 on the second floor. We left the shop without locking it. The fire brigade came within 20 minutes. A few people were stranded in the gym on the third floor and they suffocated but no one was hospitalised."
Another shopkeeper claimed that no one exactly knows from where the fire broke out. "There were many customers. There is a gym on the top floor and the entire terrace is covered with temporary bamboo tents. The heavy smoke accumulated on all the floors and people couldn't see anything due to it. A few people were on
the terrace screaming for help. They were rescued after the MFB arrived," the shopkeeper said.
Sunil Gupta, a secretary of the mall, said that the fire started in an electric duct and spread via it to the upper floors. Our fire system was in place and people were alerted after the fire alarm rang. The fire did not spread due to the sprinkling system.
An MFB official said that, prima facie, the fire had broken out due to a short circuit. "The matter is being investigated," he said.
Chief Fire Officer Ravindra Ambulgekar said, "The fire-fighting system started working initially due to gravity but then it stopped functioning. We will serve a notice to the mall. Simultaneously, an inspection is going on and we will see if there are any irregularities in the structure."
Time on Friday when fire brigade learnt of blaze