82-year-old woman killed in fire at 18-storey building in south Mumbai

The fire brigade said the fire broke out at 2.52am on the first floor of the Samrat Ashok cooperative housing society in Mahalaxmi on Sunday. The fire started in the building’s metre room and was mainly confined to the first floor, but smoke engulfed all 18 floors.

mumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2018 12:40 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,mumbai fire,fire in mahalaxmi
Onlookers outside the Samrat Ashok CHS, Mahalaxmi in Mumbai, where a fire killed a senior citizen, on Sunday, December 2, 2018. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

A senior citizen was killed, and two people were in a critical condition after a fire broke out in an 18-storey residential building in Mahalaxmi early on Sunday. Seventy-five residents were injured, of which 19 are still in hospital.

The fire brigade said the fire broke out at 2.52am on the first floor of the Samrat Ashok cooperative housing society in Mahalaxmi on Sunday. The fire started in the building’s metre room and was mainly confined to the first floor, but smoke engulfed all 18 floors, making it difficult for firefighters to rescue residents trapped on the higher floors.

“Even though the fire only affected the first floor, the smoke had engulfed all 18 floors. This got in the way of rescue operations and fire fighting,” chief fire officer PS Rahangdale said. The injured were taken to the nearby Bhatia hospital and Nair hospital. Officials said Laxmi Koli, 82, was declared dead on arrival. Two other people suffered inhalation burns and carbon monoxide poisoning are both in critical condition, hospital officials said.

As with other high-rise fires in the city this year, the Samrat Ashok building had violated several fire safety rules — the firefighting equipment was not in working condition, and the electricity metre room was not a covered space. Fire brigade officials said they issued a notice to the housing society under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act (2006).

In November, state urban development minister Ranjit Patil said the there had been close to 50,000 fires in Mumbai over the past decade, and nearly 69% of these were triggered by defective electric circuits or short circuits.

Four fire engines and three water tankers were used to douse the fire. Officials said they put out the fire at 5.43am on Sunday, three hours after it broke out.

An eight-year-old child was killed in another fire in a Dahisar slum on Sunday.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 12:40 IST