A fire broke out at an apartment in a highrise building inside Central Park 2, an upscale condominium on Sohna Road, on Saturday.
The apartment on the ninth floor (Tower 7) of the 16-storey building was taken on rent by a Japanese expat working for a multinational company in the city. The incident took place around 4 pm and the police said the flat was locked at that time.
Some residents noticed smoke billowing from the apartment and alerted the residents’ welfare association (RWA). RWA members along with the residents and security guards broke the door of the flat and doused the flames. During the operation, one of the guards inhaled smoke and had to be hospitalised for breathlessness.
Meanwhile, fire officials from the Sector 29 station reached the spot. But by then, the situation was under control. Residents said they used 19 fire extinguishers to bring the blaze under control. A short-circuit is believed to be the cause of the fire, the officials said .
Most of the furniture and other household items inside the apartment, worth lakhs of rupees, were gutted.
Senior fire officer IS Kashyap said, “We rushed to the spot after receiving a message but the fire had already been doused. The builder had been served notice earlier also to install all fire equipment, but he has not responded so far.”
Tower 7 of Central Park-II has 42 flats, of which 35 are occupied.
Residents alleged that sprinklers, fire detectors and fire alarms inside the condominium were not functional when the incident took place. They claimed that they have taken up the matter of non-functional safety equipment with the builder many times, but no action has been taken so far.
“The fire alarm system inside the condominium is completely non-functional. We have apprised the builder about the matter various times but nothing has been done. We have arranged for the fire extinguishers ourselves,” said Umesh Gupta, vice-president of tower 7, 8 and 9 RWA.
Builder Sweta Estate Private Limited, however, had a different version. The builder claimed that it is the RWA which is responsible for the incident.
The firm said blamed all lapses on the RWA and said notices have been sent to the association in this regard.
“This is a serious matter. A similar incident took place on July 17 in tower 9 of Central Park-II. We had warned the RWA through our letter dated July 31. In the letter, we had elaborated the lapses by RWA. We provided best fittings and fire equipment,” said Vineet Nanda, president (sales and marketing), Sweta Estate Private Limited.
“The apartments were handed over to the RWA around five years ago and it is their responsibility to maintain them now,” he said.
“We are consulting our legal experts to ensure that a proper action is taken to avoid a repeat of such an incident. Because of differences between two RWA groups, safety and maintenance has been compromised,” Nanda said.