Fire contained at Mumbai high-rise building that houses Deepika Padukone’s residence, 2 firemen hospitalised
The fire broke out in the south Mumbai high-rise residential building, in which Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone owns two apartments, around 2.10 pmmumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2018 22:28 IST
Two firemen had to be hospitalised after a major blaze charred the top three floors of a 33-storey residential high rise at Prabhadevi in south central Mumbai on Wednesday.
No other casualties were reported at the BeauMonde Towers, where Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone also owns a 26th floor apartment. As many as 95 people were safely evacuated from the building soon after the fire alarm went off.
The firemen – identified as Harishchandra Raorane (54) and Shivaji Achrekar (53) – were rushed to the hospital after they complained of suffocation. Their condition is said to be stable.
Fire officials said the blaze broke out on the 32nd floor of the building’s B-wing around 2.10 pm, before spreading to the top storey and the one below. It was brought under control by 6.30 pm, and cooling operations were underway until late that evening.
According to the civic disaster management cell, the apartment where the fire originated was owned by one Harish Wabhiyani. It was vacant at the time of the incident.
As many as 60 fire fighters used 12 engines, eight water tankers and two turntable ladders to douse the blaze over a period of four hours. Their efforts were recognised by Padukone in a tweet: “I am safe. Thank you every one. Let us pray for our fire fighters who are at site risking their lives.”
Sources said the building’s fire-fighting system was in place, which aided the fire brigade by no small measure. As hose pipes from the fire brigade’s water tankers could not reach the top floor due to hindrance from structural projections at the base of the building, the building’s riser system was used for the purpose.
“Eight water lines from the fire brigade’s tankers helped transfer water into the building’s riser system. Fire-fighters used the building’s equipment to douse the flames,” said deputy chief fire officer R Chaudhari.
However, sources said the building’s fire lift stopped working after water from the sprinklers seeped into its machinery. Consequently, the 20 firemen sent to battle the flames had to climb 33 flights of stairs to reach the top three floors.
“The wind proved to be a challenge too. It kept reigniting the embers as fast as we could put out the flames. Even if the hose pipes from the tankers were long enough to reach the 32nd floor, the wind would not have allowed us to spray water into the distance at that height,” said Chaudhari.
A resident said the building has an advanced fire-fighting system that can operate on a parallel electrical connection even if the main one has to be cut off. “We also have turbo pumps for the riser system, so water can be pushed to the top floors within seconds. All of this helped with the fire fighting,” he added.
The building’s riser system is capable of holding one lakh litres of water.
Another resident said the fire alarms went off as soon as the blaze started, allowing everybody to evacuate their homes in an efficient manner. “Security personnel at the building also went from floor to floor, knocking on all the doors and asking everybody to evacuate,” he recalled.