Residents protest as fire extinguishers fail to work at Noida high-rise
Noida: A late night fire incident at a flat in Sector 137 on Saturday exposed the safety arrangements in the residential society
Noida: A late night fire incident at a flat in Sector 137 on Saturday exposed the safety arrangements in the residential society. None of the eight fire extinguishers on the floor where the fire broke out were in working order, much to the dismay of the residents.
Residents of Logix Blossom County held a protest on Sunday against the negligence of the civic body and builders who have not kept the emergency services in working order. Residents also filed a complaint with the fire department and a safety audit will be conducted in the next two days.
“The fire broke out in the balcony of a flat that is under construction. There’s saw dust and leftover wood in the balcony that seems to have caught fire. While the flat is not inhabited, guards and some residents rushed to douse the fire, but none of the eight fire extinguishers in that floor worked. All of them were empty,” said Manoj Prasad, a resident of Logix Blossom County.
Residents brought fire extinguishers from other floors and the fire was brought under control. While the fire could not spread much, residents say that it is dangerous if several extinguishers are not working at the same time. Additionally, similar incidents of firefighting equipment not working have been reported earlier as well and residents had asked the fire department to conduct an audit last year as well.
“We had informed the fire officer about expired cylinders in May 2021, and we were informed that notices were served but we don’t know what happened after the notices or if any action was taken. Even after Saturday’s incident, the maintenance office said that the carbon dioxide cylinders were not filled up. This is sheer carelessness,” said Shumon Saha, another resident.
Fire department officials said that the matter is being investigated and a safety audit will be conducted soon. “We received the complaint on Sunday and our team will visit and conduct the audit in the next two days. We had sent a notice to the housing society last year as well,” said Pradeep Chaubey, chief fire officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Chaubey said that random checking of equipment is conducted, including sprinklers, alarm systems, fire extinguishers and other systems. The station house officer (SHO) of Sector 142 police station, Uttam Kumar, said that no complaint has been registered yet and action can be taken based on the fire department’s report.
Officials from JLL, the firm that handles maintenance in the housing society, said minor incidents are being reported by residents because they want to avoid paying common area maintenance (CAM) charges.
“There are about 2,200 flats in the housing society and more than 50% of the owners do not pay CAM charges. These residents want all the facilities but don’t want to pay maintenance and they spread such rumours,” said Nitin Lehra, the estate manager.