Short circuit resulting in fire in the electrical duct caused fumes that engulfed the complex
A major mass casualty was averted on Monday after fire brigade rescued over 100 persons when a fire broke out in Dev Aurum building in Prahladnagar area of the city. Short circuit resulting in fire in the electrical duct caused fumes that engulfed the complex. Fire Brigade officials said that changes were made after Building Use (BU) permission was given. Moreover, fire safety equipment in the building was not in operating condition when it was needed the most. Orders to seal the building have been given and it will be sealed by Tuesday.
According to Rajesh Bhatt, Additional Chief Fire Officer if people were not have evacuated, there would been had a major casualty. “Entire electrical duct was under fire. All the cables and doors were under fire,” said Bhatt. The fire, caused by short circuit, is believed to have begun on seventh floor. From there it is spread to second floor downwards and upto ninth floor on the top.
A Fire Control Room official said 12 fire-tenders along with scores of personnel were deployed to douse the blaze. However, they found that the fire control equipment was not working. More than the fire, it was the smoke that was dangerous for the inhabitants. “There was no escape provision for the smoke. People had started suffocating. If they were not evacuated on time, there would have been a major casualty. Some people were even on the verge of jumping from the building,” said Bhatt.
Orders have been given to seal the building and it will be sealed by Tuesday. Bhatt said that modifications were made in the building after BU permission was issued. “The Estate penalizes for petty violations. Why such glaring violations escape their attention?” asked Bhatt adding that entire foyer and staircase was blocked, preventing the smoke from exiting the building. “If you give priority to aesthetics over safety, such things will be very common,” said Bhatt.
A woman being taken to hospital after the fire breakout
While electrical connection to the building has been stopped, Bhatt lamented that inspite of legal provisions, electrical connections to lift and fire systems are also cut. Electricity supply utilities are told to have a dedicated connection, but still utilities are not complying, on the ninth and tenth floor of a multi-storey commercial complex in Ahmedabad’s Prahladnagar area, a senior official said.
Three persons were unconscious when rescued, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer M F Dastur said, adding that the blaze and the resultant smoke at Dev Aurum complex did not cause any casualties.
“The fire started in the cable duct of the building. It has been brought under control. Though a fire safety system was installed in the building, it was not working,” Dastur informed.
AMC to inspect fire equipment at Dev Auram
After life-threatening ablaze at the Dev Auram building on Monday, the fire department is going to inspect the installed fire equipment at the complex. According to Chaitanya Shah, estate officer of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, their team has visited the venue soon after the incident took place. They have reviewed the fire safety licence which is valid up to June 24, 1019. But unfortunately, none of the installed equipment was in working condition. Now, after the inspection by the fire team, the estate department will take a call to seal the unit.