Pradeep Jhagde (45), the fire officer who died on Friday morning during the attempt to douse the fire at Goyal shopping center in Borivili, was the Assistant Special Officer at the Byculla Fire station for the last six years.
Jhagde, survived by his wife who is a paralytic, was the only breadwinner in the family.
“He was a team player and was always smiling,” said Ashok Rane, Jhagde’s colleague.
Jhagde and two colleagues climbed down from a ground floor shop to the basement, which was filled with dense smoke. “As it was impossible to breathe, the officers turned back, but Jhagde lost his way and was trapped. A rescue team found Jhagde’s body. His face was submerged under water, which would have made it more difficult for him to breath,” said Uday Tatkare Chief Fire Officer. Tatkre said that Jhagde might not have been aware of the exit routes.
He added that the deceased officer’s family would get compensation of about Rs 14-15 lakh. Jhadge’s colleagues said that such accidents were occupational hazards. “The greatest satisfaction of our job is the lives we save,” said Tatkare.