Mumbai: 17 rescued from fire in Malabar Hill high-rise

Updated: Feb 06, 2020, 08:33 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

The fire brigade says the fire-fighting system was not functioning; alert residents had informed their neighbours.

The fire broke out on the fifth floor of Las Palmas building at Malabar Hill
The fire broke out on the fifth floor of Las Palmas building at Malabar Hill

A non-functioning fire-fighting system could have led to a tragedy when a fire broke out at the nine-storeyed Las Palmas at Malabar Hill on Wednesday, if not for its fourth floor residents, who alerted others about it. The fourth floor residents heard the glass panes crashing down when the fire began. A total of 17 people were rescued by the fire brigade, seven of them from the terrace.

"The building is located at a dead end and narrow access was challenging for fire persons to deploy resources. More over, the building's fire-fighting system was not in working condition. With great effort our teams rescued about 17 to 18 residents trapped in the building due to intense heat and smoke, without injuries," said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief officer of the Mumbai fire brigade.

Fire brigade personnel rescue a resident. Pics/Ashish Raje
Fire brigade personnel rescue a resident. Pics/Ashish Raje

Sunil Dhavda, a resident of the fourth floor, said, "Around 7.45 pm we heard the loud sound of window glass panes crashing. We immediately informed people and those upstairs went up to the terrace, while others came running down the stairs. Around 7.50 pm we informed the fire brigade and they arrived immediately. They rescued the residents of the two fifth floor flats where the fire broke out. These include a woman, her maid and two dogs and five people in the other flat."

The residential building at Little Gibbs Road near Hanging Gardens has 22 flats in a ground plus 14-storey structure. The fire saw eight fire engines, seven jumbo tankers and one table turner ladder used for fire-fighting operations. Along with these four ambulances too were present at the site.

At the time of going to press, cooling operations were still on. Rahangdale also said that there were no reports of any person missing and all the residents were safe, but the search operations were on.

Fireman Rahul Babulal Kawle, attached to Gowalia Tank fire station has been admitted in ICU at GT hospital. He had suffocated in the smoke.

As per Dr Ajay, the patient is in stable condition, but has been breathing with oxygen support. He has been kept under observation as a precautionary measure. Other tests are in process.

Surendra Kumar Jadhav who works as a house help on the seventh floor came down with the help of the drain pipe.

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