The toll in a fire that broke out at a residential building in Mumbai’s Chembur suburb on Thursday evening has risen to five. Two people, including a fire and rescue services official, suffered injuries, according to a statement released by the fire department.
Four people who died in the incident were in their 70s and 80s, while one person was 52 years old. Vidya Thakur, medical superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, said three people died after inhaling smoke and had no visible burn injuries. “The 86-year-old patient who has survived the incident is in a state of shock,” Thakur told Hindustan Times. “He hasn’t suffered any burn injuries or internal complications due to smoke inhalation.”
The fire brigade received a call about the blaze at the 15-storeyed building in Tilak Nagar at 7.46 pm on Thursday. The blaze was initially categorised as Level 2 (medium), but was soon upgraded to a Level 3 (major) fire.
The fire was first noticed on the 11th floor of the building. An LPG cylinder blast in one of the apartments on that floor reportedly increased the severity of the fire, according to NDTV. The fire was brought under control at midnight and cooling operations began after that.
According to the fire brigade, the firefighting system in the building was “not in working condition”. It said that the Disaster Management Control Room has been asked to disconnect electricity and water supply to the building.
Local corporator Shusham Sawant told The Indian Express that double parking by residents on the access road delayed fire brigade vehicles from reaching the spot.