The blaze — designated as a level 3 (major) fire — erupted around 7am in Sachinam Heights building, a ground plus 20-storey structure located in Tardeo’s Nana Chowk.
Many of the residents were still asleep when the fire engulfed the building, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Live updates: Mumbai building fire
‘Heard big noise, rushed outside’
Recalling the frenzy following the incident, the residents of the building said they rushed out to an open area after hearing a big noise.
“We heard a big noise and rushed outside. There was black smoke coming out of some floors above us. We immediately rushed downstairs and came into the open area,” a resident said.
A 50-year-old woman who lives on the fifth floor said, “I heard some noise like firecrackers and realised that something is wrong. As we were all scared, I fell down twice while helping my husband to climb down the staircase.”
“I don’t recall how I reached the open area,” she said.
#MumbaiFireVideo | A level 3 fire in 20-storey #Kamalabuilding near Bhatia hospital in TardeoLive:… https://t.co/3iVOTy6egI
– TOI Mumbai (@TOIMumbai) 1642829063000
Short-circuit may have caused blaze
Residents of a nearby building attributed the blaze to an AC compressor explosion, reported PTI.
While the exact cause of the fire is yet to be established, Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said prima facie the blaze was caused by a short-circuit.
“We were on the terrace early in the morning when we heard a loud noise, which sounded like some kind of an explosion. We saw the fire and smoke coming out of a flat and immediately called the fire brigade,” a resident of Matrumandir told reporters.
“We then called other fellow residents of our society to make arrangements for rescued citizens of that building to rest in the open space area of our building,” he said.
Evacuated residents were shifted to another building. (PTI Photo)
Another resident of the building said he had returned from Kurla railway station just before the blaze.
“It was shortly after 7 am when the fire broke out. We were later told it was due to a short circuit. I had gone out to drop my mother at Kurla station. When I returned, I was in the room and heard a loud sound,” he said.
“Suddenly the lights went off. I saw smoke in gallery. There was a melee of residents trying to get out. Many were injured. Some sustained head injuries. The injured included many senior citizens,” he said.
A woman who lived on the 14th floor of the building said she came to know of the blaze after being woken up by a friend, following which they rushed outside.
Another woman living on the fourth floor said, “We came to know of the fire shortly after 7 am. When we came outside the building, there was a “fat-fat” sound outside a cabin (which presumably housed the AC compressor).
“There was smoke first and then there were flames,” she said. Asked how did she come out of the building, she said she used the stairs.
‘Some occupants were trapped inside’
Talking about the incident, a civic official said, “The fire broke out on the 19th floor of the building. On being alerted, the fire brigade personnel and police rushed the spot. Several people were rescued, of whom 29 were taken to different nearby hospitals as some of them had suffered injuries, while others complained of health problems, like suffocation.”
On being alerted, 13 fire engines and seven water jetties were rushed to the building to douse the fire. The blaze was extinguished by 12.20 pm, he said.
“There are at least six flats on each floor of the building. Soon after the fire broke out on the 19th floor, several residents ran out. The blaze engulfed the floor and some occupants got trapped inside,” another official said.
He added that according to some residents, the power supply of the building went off after the fire and many occupants were still asleep when the blaze erupted.
Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of the D-ward of the BMC, said the building was given occupation certificate in 2015.
Saddened by the building fire at Tardeo in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers with the injure… https://t.co/DydSbv9SX0
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1642842180000
An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due… https://t.co/FKXFSmAzSp
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1642842352000
In a tweet, PM Modi said, “Saddened by the building fire at Tardeo in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers with the injured for the speedy recovery.”
Aaditya Thackeray said, “The state government will provide a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to family members of those who lost their lives in this unfortunate fire.”
I visited the Kamala Building fire site in Tardeo to get an on-ground update regarding the recovery operations unde… https://t.co/axxbJ67fUC
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) 1642840106000
“There were reports about 2 hospitals refusing treatment, however both hospitals informed me that they have admitted and treated some of those injured in this fire,” he tweeted.
• Govt will give ₹5L compensation to families of those citizens who lost their lives in this unfortunate fire.• Th… https://t.co/IjRW9dxXBv
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) 1642840421000
He said he visited the affected building and also spoke to the residents, whom he assured to provide “complete assistance”.
(With inputs from PTI)