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Parel building fire: Mumbai residents recount tales of survival

A fire broke out at Crystal Towers in Mumbai, killing four and injuring 27 people.

mumbai Updated: Aug 23, 2018 01:14 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Parel building,Mumbai fire,smoke
Fire brigade personnel rescued residents of Crystal Towers on Wednesday.(Pratik Chorge/HT)

“We heard cries and opened the door to see what was happening. A huge cloud of smoke filled our house,” said Dolly Maithun, 45, who lives with her husband, a daughter, a son and her 64-year-old mother on the ninth floor of the building.

They ran to the stairs to escape, while her son Subodh brought her mother down. However, Maithun was left behind since the smoke made it difficult to find the way, till she was rescued by fireman Raju Narawade. “I am thankful that he saved my life. Some burnt parts of the ceiling were falling down and I sustained minor injuries to my hand,” she said.

Fireman broke glass window to save lives

Raju Narawade, a 22-year-old firefighter who joined the Mumbai fire brigade in 2016, helped three residents escape on Wednesday. “I ran from sixth floor to ninth floor as the upper floors had more smoke. I met Dolly on the ninth floor; she was confused about which way to go,” said Narawade.

Glass doors near the staircases had trapped the smoke, making it impossible for residents to see or breathe. “I broke the glass window with my hand to create ventilation,” he added. While going down, he fell prey to smoke inhalation. “He had injuries to his right hand while breaking the glass door. He was put on oxygen supply as he was breathless. He is stable now,” said a doctor from KEM Hopsital.

‘Shiv Sena leader, son returned to help guest’

Shaikh Masood Shafi, 47, joint secretary of Shiv Vahatuk Sena —Shivsena’s transport wing — and a resident of the building got injured when he tried to enter his twelfth floor flat. Shaikh, along with his three daughters and a son had left home to meet his father for Eid al-Adha. Masood and his wife own two of the three flats on twelfth floor where the fire is suspected to have originated. “Shafi and my nephew, Gulam Shaikh Shafi, rushed inside the building to save a guest, Bertha Fernandes. Both of them sustained injuries,” said his sister Ayesha.

Doctors said both of them were admitted with complaints of breathlessness. “He is kept under observation in the intensive care unit,” said a doctor.

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 01:14 IST