Fire in Mumbai slum destroys about 150 houses


Fire broke in the suburbs of Mumbai on Saturday, destroying more than hundred one-room shacks, rendering the families homeless. No causalities and injuries have been reported so far.

The fire broke out in the early hours in one of the houses of Sewri suburb, which later swept through other houses.

Shakeel, a local blamed the fire station for failing to reach the spot on time, which caused more damage.

"We were sleeping when we suddenly saw fire in one of the houses. We tried to douse it but it was in vain and it spread in the neighbouring houses as well. When I called the fire station the fire engines took long to reach the spot, which is why the fire spread even more.

"About 100 to 150 houses have been burnt," he said.

Wisps of smoke rose from the slum as locals rummaged through the ashes, trying to salvage their possessions.

According to local media reports, the cause of the fire was a short circuit but the police have not confirmed any reason so far.

"It is a slum area and there are loose electric wires. However, the reason of the fire cannot be ascertained yet. There are no causalities so far," said P A Dhoke, a senior police official.

Fire brigade officials said it took more than four hours to contain the blaze.

Fire safety regulations are lax, rarely implemented and not periodically reviewed in most small-scale commercial places, residential areas and firms across India.

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