Fire under control at Andheri's Lotus Business Park, 1 firefighter dead

Jul 18, 2014, 11:07 IST | A correspondent

No civilian casualties reported in the incident. Flames doused as Navy and Coast Guard helicopters carry out rescue operations to save firefighters stranded on top of the building

A major fire broke out at Lotus Business Park on Andheri link road on Friday morning. There were no reports of any civilian casualties yet as people working in the offices were quickly evacuated by the fire brigade

Fire brigade, Navy and Coast Guard personnel are fighting a grim battle to rescue firemen trapped on the terrace of building. One firefighter has reportedly died and few more are seriously injured in the incident. Rescue operations are in progress to rescue several firefighters, who are still stuck on the terrace of Lotus building.

A Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) official said that around 15-20 fire fighters were stuck on the terrace of Lotus Business Park. Dramatic video footages showed Navy and and Coast Guard helicopters lowering ropes on the rooftop to help the stranded firemen clamber up to safety from their perilous perch.

Video footage of the fire

Video: Ranjeet Jadhav

The choppers were rushed to the rescue of stranded firemen after gusty winds fanned the fire making their evacuation impossible by any other means. According to fire brigade officials, 22 fire engines, 10 water tankers and 6 jetties have been deployed to quell the blaze.

The building in Mumbai's western suburbs. houses many offices, including properties of several film personalities.

How the fire started
The fire broke out on the 21st floor of the high-rise building and later spread to the 20th floor. Fire fighters rushed to the spot to douse the flames.

According to the fire brigade officials, the exact reason of the fire is yet to be ascertained. It is a major fire and fire fighters are trying their level best to douse the flames.

"We got a call at around 11 AM that a fire has broken out in the commercial building. We initially thought it was a grade-1 fire and sent four fire tankers to the spot. The fire was then upgraded to grade 2 and we have now deployed 12 fire engines and nine water tankers at the site," a fire brigade official said.

Andheri fire
Fire at Lotus Business Park. Pic: Suresh KK

Pooja Shettty of Walkwater productions said the fire that started on the 21st floor, was spreading and fire fighters were unable to douse the blaze.

Shetty's office is on the 9th floor of the buiiding. She said, "we have cleared our office."

Lotus building fire at Andheri
Another view of the fire that broke out at Lotus Business Park

Noted film personalities, including Rakesh Roshan and Ajay Devgn have offices in the premises.

At around 10.30 am on Friday our reporter, who was at the spot, saw that the fire brigade officials were struggling to control the fire as intensity was increasing due to windy conditions. The fire spread across the entire floor gutting offices.

According to the officials from BMC Disaster Control,  "The entire building was vacated immediately after the fire broke out. As of now there has been no news of any casualties."

(With inputs from Ranjeet Jadhav, Bharti Dubey and agencies)

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