Two domestic helps were killed on Tuesday in a major blaze that gutted the apartment of a well-known industrialist in a residential high rise in posh Cuffe Parade area, officials said.
According to BMC Disaster Control, the fire broke out in the duplex on 20th and 21st floors that belonged to Bajaj Electricals Chairman-cum-Managing Director Shekhar Bajaj.
The blaze started at around 6.30 a.m.
Fire brigade struggled for three hours to douse the level 3 fire. It took eight fire engines, six jumbo tankers, an aerial ladder platform, a high pressure van and one breathing apparatus to bring the fire under control.
“There was a servants’ room near the staircase where both the servants were sleeping at time of fire. By the time we reached, both of them had succumbed to their burns,” said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade.
The firemen, wearing breathing apparatus, climbed on an aerial ladder platform, used one small hose line, one monitor jet, two lines of risers to battle the blaze.
Seven persons from the lower flat and seven others from neighbouring flats on the same floor were rescued safely.
All 11 members of the Bajaj family, including an infant, were moved safely after the fire was noticed.
The two domestic helps who died were in a room near the internal staircase of the duplex. They suffered serious burns and succumbed before they were rushed to St. George Hospital.
A fire officer said that the fixed fire-fighting system in the building was in working condition which helped the firemen to deploy resources very quickly, averting major loss of lives or assets in the high rise.
“The bodies were in the servants quarter of the 20th floor flat, and are believed to have been working as domestic help for the family staying on the floor. The process of their identification is under way,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, Zone I.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and other senior officials visited the scene of the tragedy shortly afterwards.