Uday Tatkare, 56, chief fire officer (CFO) of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, died on Thursday evening of a massive heart attack. He was on his way home from work, in his official car, at the time of the incident.
“When Tatkare was on his way back home, his driver noticed that his phone was ringing constantly and that he was not answering it. He turned to find Tatkare slouching in his seat,” said a source at KEM hospital. He was brought to KEM hospital at 6.45 pm and was put in the intensive care unit, where the doctors tried to save him, but they were unsuccessful.
Tatkare is the second CFO to die while on duty.
In October 1999, then CFO VV Rao had died following a cardiac arrest in the civic headquarters.
Tatkare took over as CFO on October 21, 2009 and had played a crucial role during the rescue operations at the Taj hotel, during the 26/11 terror attacks.
Tatkare joined the fire brigade on October 3, 1978. Under him, the fire brigade achieved many firsts.
Last month, the fire brigade got its first ever women firefighters. A few days ago, he had also spoken of introducing female lifeguards at beaches.
Tatkare will be given a guard of honour and his body will be brought to the fire brigade’s headquarters at Byculla and then taken for the funeral on Friday.
Tatkare is survived by his wife and teenaged daughter.