Mumbai: Two fire incidents in 12 hours, BMC slaps notices on buildings

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 31, 2015 23:15 IST

Mumbai witnessed two major fire incidents at two commercial buildings in a 12-hour span. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) fire department on Monday slammed notices to both buildings as they were found violating fire safety norms.

The first incident took place on Sunday night at Pramukh Plaza, Andheri (East) and another occurred on Monday afternoon at Palm Spring building, Malad (West). No casualties were reported from either incident.

Chief fire officer Prabhat Rahangdale said, “Both the commercial buildings did not have fire safety equipment in working condition and so their electricity supply have been cut till they reply to the notices.”

The fire broke out at the ground-plus-six-storey structure in Andheri (East) on the third floor, spreading to the fourth floor. Fire officials claimed that because the fire broke out at night, there was no one in the building. They found that the electrical ducts were not sealed owing to which the fire spread.

Another fire broke out on Monday noon at a ground-plus-eight-storey structure at Malad (West) during the office hours. Fire officials said the building was evacuated and there were casualties or injuries but heavy smoke had engulfed the fifth floor of the building where the fire broke.

This building did not have fire-fighting equipment in working condition which turned out to be a major hurdle for the firemen, claimed the fire officials.

A fire officer, who did not wish to be named, said, “Notices have been issued to both the buildings, where they have to reply to why they should not be blamed for the fire that broke out and why should there be no prosecution case filed against them. The reply, however, is needed in 24 hours’ time and if that is not done, we would initiate further course of action.”

According to section 3 (3) of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, a fire safety compliance certificate issued by a licensed private agency is to be furnished by the owner or occupiers of every building to the fire brigade in the months of January and July every year

The aim is to ensure that firefighting equipment is installed in every building and that it is well-maintained

The Act specifies different requirements of firefighting installations for varying heights and types of buildings such as residential, commercial, industrial, educational institutions, hotels, hospitals, shopping complexes etc

For instance, a residential building of up to five floors and having more than 30 rooms must at least be equipped with functional fire extinguishers, hose reel and an electric fire alarm system

The Act has put the onus of adherence to fire safety norms on the owners or occupants of buildings who are expected to appoint a private agency to vary out fire safety audits and install firefighting equipment

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