Eucharistic Congress Building fire destroys biblical literature

A fire broke out on the first floor of Eucharistic Congress Building III near Holy Name School in Colaba at around 10.30 am on Thursday. The floor houses office of The Examiner, a weekly published by Archdiocese of Bombay. The floors above have offices of various other companies.

All copies of the magazine and computers at the office were reduced to ashes. While there were no injuries to staff, an ambulance was kept on standby during the four-hour firefight.

"At around 10.30, we smelt smoke and realised there was a fire. All of us rushed down the staircase that was filled with smoke. It was suffocating and we could barely see," said an employee of ITC, which has an office on the fourth floor of the building. "It is sad the 'holy room' caught fire," she said.

The smoke started to spread to the second and third floors, but it was soon stopped. Twelve fire engines and five-six water tankers were deployed to contain the blaze. An assistant division fire officer and two firemen suffered minor injuries during the operation.

"A lot of people were trapped inside because of the smoke but they were rescued through the fire escape. We brought the fire under control in two hours. The cause is still unknown," said deputy chief fire officer P Rahangdale.

"There were fire extinguishers but no one knew how to use them," said S Rohan, employee of another office in the building.

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