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Currey Road high-rise blaze: Fire system didn’t work, say residents

Updated on: 23 October,2021 07:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Mayor orders probe after residents of One Avighna Park allege that there were several illegalities in the building

Currey Road high-rise blaze: Fire system didn’t work, say residents

BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal (centre) being briefed by fire officials at Avighna Park. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Shocked residents of One Avighna Park where a security guard plunged to death after a fire broke out on Friday alleged many illegalities in the luxurious complex including a non-functional firefighting system, non-handover of the building to the society, unauthorised use of floor space index. 

Rohit Rathod, in whose flat the fire broke out, said, “We tried to use the internal fire system, but there was no water. The fire brigade reached after an hour but they were also helpless without water.”

Mayor Kishori Pednekar at One Avighna Park on FridayMayor Kishori Pednekar at One Avighna Park on Friday

“The fire system didn’t work initially, though it started later,” said Rajendra Choudhari, deputy chief fire officer. Chief Fire Officer Hemant Parab told mid-day, “The reason of the fire, status of the internal fire system and whether fire audits have been done regularly will be probed by the Mumbai Fire Brigade.”

Jeetu Jain, a resident, alleged, “The society is formed, but still the papers of the building haven’t been handed over to the society and the maintenance is taken care of by the builder. Most of the flats are occupied and there wasn’t any construction work going on the 19th floor.”

Worried Avighna Park residents on FridayWorried Avighna Park residents on Friday

Other residents said that their complaints on many issues have fallen on deaf ears. The chairman and secretary of the society were not available for comment. Swapnaja Kshirsagar, ward officer of F-South, said her office hasn’t received any written complaints regarding the society. 

Guardian Minister of the city Aslam Sheikh, Guardian Minister of Suburban Aaditya Thackeray, Mayor Kishori Pedankar, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal visited the spot.  Thackeray said, “This incident only reiterates how important fire safety drills, fire safety norms like sprinklers, refuge areas are in every building.”
Aslam Sheikh said, “The fire fighting system wasn’t working properly due to low pressure of water. We will probe into the matter. A fire audit of the building must be carried out at intervals of six months.”

Worried Avighna Park residents on Friday

Quoting the residents, Mayor Kishori Pednekar said there is a lot of pending work due to non-transfer to the society and it led to the fire. She said she has asked the civic administration to probe into the residents’ complaints. “A full administrative inquiry regarding the building as well as the fire will be conducted. Strict action will be taken against the concerned if facts found against them,” said civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal.

Sanjay Jamadar of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena blamed the builder, politicians and BMC for the death of the security guard Arun Tiwari. “Residents rushed for their lives today. Unauthorised work is still going on. There must be an inquiry about all the irregularities in the building,” said Jamadar. 

We’ve the best firefighting system: Developer

“The unfortunate incident happened due to some internal issue within the flat on the 19th floor, but thankfully our fire and safety systems prevented it from becoming bigger. A full building audit and fire training are regularly done, the recent being October 1,” said Nishant Agrawal, managing director of Avighna Group.

Agrawal said, “We have installed the best fire system available around the world. Now if a short circuit occurred in the resident flat, it can’t be controlled as fire systems are in the lobby. The entire fire system was in place. Every month our managers have done each n every Equipment checkup, whose report is submitted to chief fire officer [CFO].”

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