Two senior citizens killed in fire at South Mumbai building

Two senior citizens were killed in a major fire, which broke out in a five-storey residential building in Bohri Mohalla, near Bhendi Bazaar in South Mumbai, on Thursday night. While 11 other residents were rescued from the blaze, two firemen suffered injuries during the firefighting operations.

The fire department is yet to ascertain the cause of the fire, which broke out on the fourth and fifth floor of the building that housed 48 families. The victims have been identified as Nafisa Gittham and Parida Master, who were found in the latter’s fourth-floor apartment.

The two women, who were found lying unconscious during the rescue operations, died of asphyxiation after inhaling smoke from the fire, said doctors at Sir JJ Hospital, where they were rushed and declared dead on admission. The injured firemen, meanwhile, are being treated for asphyxiation.

Residents of the building, which is part of the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust’s (SBUT) redevelopment project for the area, were set to vacate the building by mid-June. However, now they have been temporarily shifted to hostels run by SBUT across the city.

Abbas Darukhanawala, secretary of the building, who lives on the third floor, said, “Fortunately, all the residents were awake, as we had just returned from our evening Ramzan prayers. We realised there is a fire after the entire building was filled with smoke.”

“We began to evacuate the residents. While the Master family rushed downstairs, Parida was reluctant to leave as she felt safer in the house. Their neighbour Nafisa also decided to stay with her,” Darukhanawala said.

Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said that by the time they reached the spot, most residents had already vacated the building. “The firefighters rescued all those who were trapped inside and then started the firefighting operations.”

According to the fire brigade, the fourth floor had a false ceiling and the residents had added a fifth floor, which was lying vacant. “As the entire structure was made of wood, the roof and flooring of the fourth floor collapsed onto the third floor. We are not serving any notice, as it is a century-old structure,” said Rahangdale.

First Published:
May 25, 2019 00:11 IST

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