‘Welding’ sparks fire at Royal Palms, roof damaged

A fire broke out while construction work was in progress on the third floor of a building alongside Royal Palms Hotel, near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. As many as ten fire engines, apart from water tankers, were pressed into service.

The fire broke out at around 12.30 pm at the building on Aarey Road that is part of the 240-acre Royal Palms Estate, Goregaon (east). It escalated to Grade-II status around 1.10 pm. The ground floor portion of the building houses a clubhouse, on top of which an extended portion for a convention hall was under construction.

"The fire broke out while some interior work was on, damaging the roof and some portions of the top floor wall. While no structural damages have been caused to the hotel, the insulation material of the top floors has been damaged," said assistant divisional fire officer H D Parab.

Parab added that all persons present on the floor escaped before the fire could spread. The cause of the blaze was yet to be determined and a probe was on, he said. "The fire broke out on the third floor and went up to the roof of the building. Fortunately, the workers escaped safely," said Dilip Upalekar, vice-president (administration), Royal Palms.

Civic officials from the building proposals department said the hotel had permission to undertake construction for up to four floors in the new structure. "The new construction on the top floors had the necessary permission; the fire could have been possibly caused by some internal welding work," said an official.

In 2010, a similar fire had broken out at an under-construction mall at Aarey Colony estate. As the shopping complex was on a hill with little access to the civic body's pipelines, fire rescue services were forced to draw water from the nearby water body. In 2007, five years ago, seven persons were killed when a slab of an under-construction 500 sq ft structure at Royal Palms Villa collapsed.

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