Mumbai seems to be acquiring the dubious reputation of being home to recurring fire accidents. Particularly distressing are incidents where the fires start on higher floors and trap people. It was therefore a déjà vu moment in chembur on the 27th of december. The fire started on the 14th floor of building number 35 in the b wing of sargam society. The housing society is near ganesh garden in tilak nagar in the suburb. The fire that claimed 5 lives on first count was reported at 7.45 pm and 15 firefighting vehicles rushed to the spot.
Firefighting operations were still underway at the sargam society when the reports last came in at around midnight. The fire had started as a level two fire on the 14th floor of the building but soon intensified into a level three blaze. Initially, five fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the blaze. However, as the blaze intensified, more fire brigades were pressed into service.
A week earlier, a level 2 fire broke out at a luxury showroom adjoining the 5-star trident hotel at mumbai's nariman point. On december 17, a major fire at the government-run esic hospital in andheri killed 10 and injured many. The 325-bed hospital did not have the fire department's no-objection certificate, mandatory for such institutes to function. Nearly 375 people, including patients and visitors, were in the five-floor hospital when the fire broke out, an official had earlier said.
The reason of the chembur fire remains unknown and investigations were initiated. An lpg cylinder blast reportedly increased the severity of the fire. The fire fighting equipment of the building was also reportedly non-functional.
Five elderly residents of the building were taken to the hospital, but died on the way. Another senior citizenwho suffered severe suffocation was admitted to a hospital. One fireman was also admitted to the hospital. He was reportedly stable. The victims have been identified as sunita joshi, 72, bhalchandra joshi, 72 and suman shrinivas joshi, 83, sarala suresh gangar, 52 and laxmiben premji gangar, 83.