Six people suffocated to death when fire broke out in a Pune bakery, whose only exit was locked from outside, early Friday morning.
According to fire brigade officials, the workers were sleeping on mezzanine floor of the “bakes N cakes”, a bakery shop located in Kondhwa area of the city. Police have detained three persons, who had recently started bakery in partnership at the ground floor of nine storey building.
Fire brigade officials suspect that the fire broke out in the wee hours at around 4:30 am due to a short circuit inside the bakery.
“Immediately after we received a call in control room at around 4:45 am, three fire tenders were dispatched to the spot. There was huge smoke emanating from the shutter of the shop, which was locked from the outside,” said fire brigade officials.
When the fire brigade officials were trying to break the lock, the owner of the bakery reached the spot and opened the shutter. After the owner informed the officials that there were workers sleeping in the mezzanine floor, the fire brigade team climbed up the loft to recover the bodies.
“Although the shutter was opened soon after we reached, it was too late as the bodies were charred,” said an official. The workers were taken to Sassoon Hospital where the doctors declared them dead.
According to Pune mayor Prashant Jagtap, while returning home on Thursday night, the bakery owner had locked the shop from outside due to which all the workers got trapped inside when the fire broke out.
“The bakery owner had locked his shop from outside as a result of which the employees of the bakery could not rush out when fire broke out,” said Jagtap. With no place for ventilation, all the six employees sleeping inside the bakery died within minutes due to suffocation, he added.
The police have identified the deceased as Ishad Ansari (26), Juned Ansari (25), Shanu Ansari (20), Zakir Ansari (24), Faeem Ansari (21) and Zishan Ansari (21). All the workers were natives of Uttar Pradesh. While a case has been registered at Kondhwa police station, the civic body has ordered inquiry into the incident to find out the exact cause of the fire.
In another incident a few hours later, a fire broke out at a carpet godown in Pune’s Bibwewadi area. However, no casualties were reported in the incident though the cause of the fire was not known.