A major fire broke out at a flat in the Seawoods Estate of Nerul on the Palm Beach road, popularly known as the NRI complex. No casualties were reported.
The incident took place at Nancy Sharma’s flat on the 15th floor of building number 52 around 8pm. The family of three was at home when the fire broke out, but managed to escape in time as the fire alarms went off. With a few minutes, the fire spread to the 18th floor of the building. The other residents of the building too were evacuated. The 17th floor house of one Jairam, too, was gutted.
Residents alleged there was a delay by the fire department. “There was some miscommunication. The first fire brigade team came to the spot without water. It seemed like they had come for a rescue mission. We then called for fire tenders,” said Amardeep Singh, a resident of the complex.
“We offered water from our swimming pool water, but the officials refused to use it. The bronto skylift used to reach a high-rise took almost half-an-hour to position itself. They started to douse the fire at 9.15pm,” said another resident AV Chandrabose.
Around eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot to combat the fire, which was brought under control at 11pm.
Dhanraj Daima, assistant commissioner of police, said, “There is no clarity yet on the cause of the fire.”
“The fact that the NMMC fire department lacks adequate infrastructure was evident. I have long demanded a fire audit for the department, housing societies and high-rises in the city. It is high time the civic body takes it up,” said Belapur MLA Manda Mhatre.
The NMMC officials were not available for comment.