A fire broke out inside a 17th floor apartment at Fresco, an upscale condominium in Gurgaon’s Sector 49, on Monday night.
The fire engines that responded to the distress call had trouble getting near the tower because of a large number of cars parked in the driveway.
Firefighters said an air conditioner in one of the rooms of the 17th floor apartment caught fire due to a short circuit. However, a major tragedy was averted as alert maintenance staff activated the sprinklers installed inside the building and went about dousing the flames. Their prompt response was the key to the fire being contained before it could spread.
Fire brigade officials said they had trouble responding to the situation as they couldn’t move their trucks in due to cars blocking the driveway. This was despite the fact that the fire department had sent a small fire truck to enable it to get inside the premises. A bigger truck would have made things even more difficult, the firefighters said.
“It was difficult to reach the spot due to a long line of vehicles wrongly parked on the driveway,” a fire official said.
Though the fire was brought under control in good time, it did a lot of damage to the apartment. The incident prompted the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) to launch a campaign against wrong parking.
“Though there’s enough space in our two basements to park the vehicles, many residents leave their cars on the driveway, near their apartments.Shortly after the broke out in one of our apartments on Monday night, we conducted a drive asking residents to not park on the driveway and use the basements instead. If we still find the vehicles parked on the driveway, we will have them towed away by the traffic police. We can’t compromise on the safety of residents,” Nilesh Tandon, president, RWA, said.
The RWA also put posters on the windscreens of the vehicles parked on the driveway to make the owners aware of the problems being caused to fellow residents.
“We will continue the awareness drive till residents and visitors stop parking on the driveway,” Raman Sharma, a resident, said.
After the incident on Monday night, the executive committee of the RWA and Unitech, the builder, have agreed to boost the fire safety measures in the towers by installing new equipment and train the security staff to use them effectively.
The RWA is also working with Unitech to hold periodic training sessions for residents as well,”Supriyo Das Gupta, secretary, RWA, said.