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At least 90 homes gutted in huge slum blaze at Pune’s Patil Estate

Twenty fire brigade vehicles and 20 water tankers were used to control the fire, according to Prashant Ranpise, chief fire officer, Pune.

pune Updated: Nov 29, 2018 16:01 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Patil estate,90 homes gutted
The fire at Patil Estateslums broke out at 1 pm on Wednesday and required 20 fire tenders to help douse the fire. While no one living in the slum was injured, houses were destroyed and hundreds of slum dwellers have been left homeless. (SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO )

At least 90 shanties were gutted in a major fire that engulfed the Patil Estate slums on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, on Wednesday. No casualties were reported, but a fire officer, Subhash Khade, sustained injuries fighting the blaze that erupted at 1 pm, and was brought under control by 4 pm.

The exact cause of fire has not yet been determined, but fire officials told HT that it spread rapidly due to the explosions of multiple LPG gas cylinders in the dwellings.

Twenty fire brigade vehicles and 20 water tankers were used to control the fire, according to Prashant Ranpise, chief fire officer, Pune.

Late on Wednesday evening Umesh Mali,PMC deputy commissioner, stated that between 90-95 houses were destroyed in the fire.

Speaking to HT at the site of the incident, Ranpise estimated that between 50 and 80 houses, all of them slum shanties, were damaged in the fire.

"Many houses were multi-storeyed where different families lived. The Pune municipal corporation (PMC) will undertake a survey to determine the total number of houses gutted in blaze," said Ranpise.

PMC has arranged for temporary accommodation for the affected families at Bharat English School, next to Akashwani, Shivajinagar bus depot; and at the Narveer Tanaji wadi school, Dattawadi.

"The police, with the help of fire brigade officials, undertook crowd control and rescue. We do not have any reports of casualties yet. We will still confirm this from hospitals," said Sunil Phulari, additional commissioner of police (ACP), north, Pune.

He also said that the PMC had informed him that the locality had between 400-450 houses, of which at least 80 had been gutted in the fire.

With 10 lanes of the slums full of shanties, shops, temples, a mosque and community toilets, the fire found an unending source of fuel to rage, making it difficult for the fire brigade to tame the blaze.

Fire vehicles from various fire stations in the city were rushed to the spot.

Despite the large police presence, aggrieved residents could be seen running back in to the smoke to save as many of their belongings as they could, making the situation worse for the fire brigade.

Vehicular traffic on the Wakdewadi bridge heading from Khadki towards Pune railway station was stopped and diverted back to Khadki as fire tenders parked on the bridge.

Along with Mukta Tilak, mayor of Pune, others who rushed to the spot included Saurabh Rao, PMC commissioner; Anil Shirole, member of parliament from Pune; Shivaji Bodhkhe, joint police commissioner; and Prasad Akkanouru, deputy commissioner of police, zone 4.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 16:01 IST