A major fire broke out in a Navy office building at Dockyard on Thursday evening, gutting the top two floors of the structure. No casualties have been reported in the fire, said chief defence spokesperson Captain Manohar Nambiar.
Though no one was injured, several naval administrative documents and files are believed destroyed in the blaze. The building houses the office of the Admiral Superintendent of the Naval Dockyard, Navy officials said. Fifteen fire engines were pressed into service to douse the fire that which was finally brought under control by 8.45 pm, four hours later.
The fire broke out in the Admiral Superintendent Dockyard (ASD) building around 4.30pm on the second floor and soon reached the top third floor. Both floors were gutted in the fire.
According to Navy officials, prima facie, a short circuit was the reason behind the fire, which continued to rage for about four-five hours. It was brought under control by 8.30 pm. However, leaping flames and thick layers of smoke engulfed the Colaba sky throughout the evening.
The staff working in the building had left for the day when the fire broke out.
Shiv Bhan, a painter with the Naval Dockyard said, “We rushed out of the place when we saw the smoke billowing. We could not ascertain the cause of the fire.”
Assistant Navy public relations officer Narendra Vispute ruled out foul play in the fire. “The building was mainly administrative and it stored several documents and records. The exact nature of the loss can be measured only after a detailed study.” However, he said no probe has been ordered into the fire so far.
Officers from the Mumbai Fire Brigade said the cause of fire could be ascertained only after the cooling operations were completed.
The building is a 175-year-old ground plus three heritage structure made of wood and concrete. It houses several administrative offices of the ASD.
Fire brigade officials from INS Shikra, Navy and BMC were engaged in the fire fighting operations. Eight fire vehicles were pressed into operation for dousing the fire.
Firemen said there is no threat to ships and surrounding Navy installations due to the fire.