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Fire Brigade chief Sunil Nesarikar succumbs to May 9 burns

Sunil-NesarikarSunil Nesarikar, the chief fire officer of the Fire Brigade, who sustained severe burn injuries while battling a building blaze on May 9, died on Sunday, officials said.

Nesarikar was admitted to the National Burns Centre in Navi Mumbai with over 50 percent burns and was under treatment since the past fortnight.

He failed to recover from his injuries, and died on Sunday afternoon.

With Nesarikar’s death, the toll in the blaze in the 50-year-old Gokul Niwas building in south Mumbai’s congested Kalbadevi area, climbed to four – all fire officers.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer S.W. Amin, a President’s gold medal awardee, had succumbed last week to over 80 per cent burns he suffered in the same incident.

The bodies of two other firemen – M.M. Desai and S.W. Rane – who went missing during the fire-fighting, were found the next day from the debris of the building which had collapsed later.

Amin – who was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for meritorious service during the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack – was on May 11 belatedly granted promotion due since over five months by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The May 9 blaze was the second major traumatic incident in the past 10 months for the city fire brigade – officially existing since April 1887.

On July 18 last year, a firemen was killed on duty while battling a blaze at Lotus Business Park, a commercial high-rise in Andheri west.

Following the incident, the then CFO AN Verma was demoted and the BMC elevated his deputy, Sunil Nesarikar as CFO.

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