ASI Arvind Khot, 57, was rushed to Sion hospital after he sustained 95 pc burns, later shifted to Masina Hospital
The storeroom is located in the corner of the ground floor of the two-storey police station
A police officer suffered 95 per cent burns after a fire broke out in the storeroom of Kherwadi police station on Monday. The incident took place around 12.30 pm when Assistant Sub-Inspector Arvind Khot, 57, was alone in the storeroom. Sources told mid-day that Khot raised an alarm about the fire but before others could rush to help him and douse the flames, he had sustained the burns.
Police sources told mid-day that the reason of the fire is yet to be ascertained. They added that there were several cylinders in the storeroom as they had recently seized the same while taking action against hawkers, but added the cylinders did not burst. A police officer said, “There was no noise of any cylinder blast.”
Assistant Sub-Inspector Arvind Khot
ASI Khot has been attached with Kherwadi police station for the past two years and was recently promoted to ASI rank from head constable. He was in charge of maintaining data and records of all seized items which are kept in the storeroom.
A police officer said, “I met Khot in the morning. Around 12.30 pm, I heard someone screaming ‘aag, aag’. All police officers rushed to the storeroom and saw that a fire had broken out. We took water from neighbouring houses to douse the fire but Khot was stuck inside the room. Somehow we managed to extinguish the fire and rushed him to Sion hospital.”
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“When the fire broke out, Khot was in the storeroom, doing his work. The fire spread rapidly. We are suspecting that something wrong happened there,” said another cop. Sources told mid-day that, “The officers who rushed to the spot found that the storeroom was locked from inside. They broke the door and removed the ASI. Khot would have been aware of the fire due to the smell and the smoke. And it takes time for fire to spread. Khot could have come out of the room after learning of the fire. This has raised suspicions.”
The storeroom where the fire broke out
Another cop, however, said, “We are sure that Khot was trying to extinguish fire. As the storeroom is in the corner of the ground floor of the two-storey police station, there are less chances of the noise being heard from inside.” Cops are also talking to Khot’s family members including his wife and kids to see if he had made any calls to them before the fire broke out. mid-day has learnt that it was Khot’s 27th wedding anniversary on Monday and that he had told his wife that something big would happen before leaving for work.
‘Inspecting cause of fire’
A fire officer told mid-day, “We received a call around 12.47 pm about the fire and rushed to Kherwadi police station with two fire engines. We doused the fire but could not ascertain what caused it. We, however, are sure that it was not due to cylinders. We have informed the electricity department for further inspection.”
Two fire engines were pushed to douse the fire
“When we reached the police station, we found that the door was broken. We doused the remaining fire. As ASI Khot was rescued and rushed to Sion hospital before we reached, we sent a team to the hospital to check his condition and where he suffered the burns. He was then shifted to Masina hospital. We will check the CCTV cameras of the police station to find out how the fire broke out.”
Doctors from Sion hospital told mid-day that, “We had kept him in the ICU and gave the first round of treatment. He suffered 95 per cent burns and is critical, so we shifted him to Masina Hospital for further treatment.” DCP Dikshit Gedam said, “ASI Khot was seriously injured in this incident. Doctors told us that his condition is serious. The fire brigade are checking how the fire broke out. We also didn’t get any information about how it started.”
‘Why delay in shifting?’
Family members of the Khot alleged it was a cylinder blast and that many residents heard a loud noise. “When we reached the police station, the storeroom was cleaned. There were no cylinders. Cops said it was not a cylinder blast. But then where did the cylinders go,” asked a family member of Khot. He added, “The incident took place at 12.30 pm and he was admitted to the Sion Hospital. But it was only 7 hours after the incident that he was shifted to Masina hospital.”