For the second time in the past four months, the Eternity Mall in Thane caught fire on Thursday morning. Though the fire was minor, smoke spread across the mall, owing to which its occupants had to be evacuated.
“The fire was caused by a short circuit in the Gosafe developer’s office on the ground floor around 10.30 when most offices in the mall were open. The employees were evacuated immediately. There was lot of smoke, which we got rid of using smoke exhaust machines and hose lines. It took about 45 minutes,” said Santosh Kadam, regional disaster management officer.
He said the fire was doused immediately and no one was injured.
The mall had been shut after a fire in July, as none of its fire safety equipment had been functioning. However, fire brigade officials said the mall was reopened illegally and had been functioning without their permission.
The mall authorities said they had upgraded the firefighting equipment. However, the fire department said most of the mall’s live electrical cables were not concealed and there were other major loopholes.
“We had not given the go-ahead to the mall to reopen in July. They reopened it on their own. We sealed the mall and served a notice to them, telling them not to reopen unless we audit the safety measures,” said Shashikant Kale, chief fire officer.
This is the third mall fire in Thane in the past four months. Boulevard Mall had caught fire on September 3.