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National
Fireman killed, five others suffer injuries in Mumbai high-rise blaze
19-07-2014

MUMBAI: A fireman was killed and five others were injured on Friday when the top two floors of a 22-storeyed building that houses the office of film star Hrithik Roshan went up in flames here.

The incident, which started as a routine fire call soon became a major operation as 11 firemen were trapped, necessitating a helicopter rescue operation by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard later in the afternoon.

The deceased fireman, identified as Nitin Inglekar was trapped along with 10 other colleagues in the thick smoke billowing on the top of the Lotus Business Park building in suburban Andheri west and succumbed, an official of the BMC Disaster Control said.

There was no escape route for the firemen trapped on the terrace as the flames and thick smoke blown by the strong winds hampered fire-fighting operations. As the situation became serious and there was no other way to save them, the civic authorities requested help from the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

Immediately, the Indian Coast Guard deployed a Chetak helicopter and the Indian Navy sent a Sea King helicopter to the fire site to rescue the trapped firemen. They were rushed to the RN Cooper Hospital for first-aid or treatment as required. The condition of three of them is reported to be serious.

Inglekar belonged to the Borivali Unit of the Mumbai Fire Brigade and was among the first group which responded to the fire call. The blaze was first noticed on the 21st floor and the flames quickly spread to the 22nd floor of the building, officials said. It was brought under control at 4 pm, the official said.

The fire - the cause of which is not known - broke out at 10 am when a majority of the office complexes in the building had not yet opened for the day's work. As many as 40 fire tenders battled the flames even as a few people present on the lower floors were evacuated as a precautionary measure.