Fire destroys 20 shanties in Navi Mumbai’s Kopar Khairane
At least 20 shanties were destroyed in a fire on Wednesday in a slum colony in Navi Mumbai’s Kopar Khairane area, officials said, in the latest such incident.
Though there was no loss of life but people lost their life savings.
Officials said the cause of the fire is being investigated even as prima facie it appeared to have been caused by a short circuit. Police have detained the person in whose shanty the fire broke out for inquiry.
The incident occurred shortly after 9am at Sector 19 near the immersion pond of the node. The fire spread quickly in the colony, which has around 30 hutments, as residents fled to safety.
“Around 20 hutments have been engulfed in the fire. There is no casualty,” senior police inspector of Kopar Khairane police station Suryakant Jagdale said.
“A detailed investigation will confirm the actual cause. The fire department experts will be submitting a report. We too are inquiring,” Jagdale said.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (NMMC) fire officer Amrutanand Borade said nine fire engines were rushed in from Airoli, Vashi, Nerul and Pawne response centres and MIDC areas among others.
“Twenty personnel were deployed. It took us over an hour to bring the fire under control. The cooling operations will go on for several hours,” the officer said.
“We faced difficulty as this is a slum area with very narrow lanes. We had to seek some vantage points to douse the fire. There was also the danger of cylinders in the shanties.”
Navi Mumbai Police’s dog squad inspected the shanties after the fire was doused.
While the police is presently not speaking on the investigation, a source said, “All possible causes are being explored as there have been reports of an explosion which some people claim to be that of a cylinder.”
Several women could be seen wailing in the colony after the fire.
“I have been staying here for the past 10 years. I was leaving for work when my son shouted that there is a fire. We fled from our house with nothing. Our house is gone,” Said Mohammed Islam, a resident, said.
“We also heard a cylinder blast shortly afterwards. We fled leaving everything behind. Several cylinders have been dumped in the creek by the residents to prevent further serious damage,” the 50-year-old said.
Santosh Rathod, 40, a contractor said his wife was at home when the fire broke out and he was out for work.
“I have lost around Rs 1 lakh that I had to pay the workers at our site. I have lost it all. Don’t know how I will bear the loss?” Rathod asked.
Jameela Banu Shaikh, a 32-year-old resident said they heard a cylinder blast after the fire. “I had some cash and gold ornaments, which I had to leave and flee.