‘Large amount of inflammable matter was stored in flat where fire broke out’
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Two days after a fire in Kemps Corner's Mont Blanc building killed seven, the civic administration is probing whether the owners of the flat 1201, where the fire originated, had obtained the permissions for undertaking renovation in their flat where a large amount of inflammable material was stored.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, R S Rahangdale said, "Large amounts of combusible and inflammable material was found in the flat, including numerous tins of 15 litres of primer, wooden planks and turpentine. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from fire department is a must in this case," he said, adding that the fire department usually gives mandates for such work and discourages storage of material at residential places.
Even as the BMC plans to acquire a 90-ft ladder to tackle fires in highrises, officers say that firefighting will continue to be challenge as highrises in south Mumbai have narrow approach roads. Although the Mont Blanc building had enough open space adjoining the structure, the approach road to the back of the building was narrow.
Abhishek Bansal had recently bought flat 1201 and was getting it renovated. Five people were rescued from the flat, according to fire officials.
Mont Blanc was constructed in 1984 and has 52 families residing in it. The building, which has two three-bedroom apartments on each floor, is home to several high-profile families, including Union minister Milind Deora's cousin Rajeev Deora.
Though the fire department is yet to ascertain the cause of fire, a short-circuit is believed to have triggered it. The fire, which originated on the 12th floor, spread to 15th, 19th and 26th floors. "The fire spread due to the presence of highly inflammable and combustible material. It worsened as the space near the flat of Dinesh Gandhi was also being used to store combustible material and gas cylinders," said Rahangdale.
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