• October 25, 2015

MUMBAI: A massive fire broke out in south Mumbai's Crawford market in the early hours today, gutting over 60 shops.

Fire officials said no casualty reported in the blaze.

"Our control room received an alert at 5:23 am that a massive fire broke out at Crawford market. Soon 10 fire tenders and eight water tankers were pressed into action," a fire brigade official told PTI.

The official said the blaze has been brought under control but efforts to douse it completely are still on.

Over 60 shops were gutted and the cause behind of the blaze is yet to be ascertained, he said.

Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta visited the spot and asked locals who gathered around the market to keep a safe distance from the site.

Crawford market is located in the vicinity of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the shops were mostly housed in old structures.

MUMBAI: In order to ascertain what caused the City Kinara fire, officials are studying CCTV footage retrieved from the charred mezzanine floor. Camera 3, installed on the staircase leading to the mezzanine floor, has captured the minutes before the fire broke out. Just before the screen goes blank, the footage shows a waiter adjusting the fan regulator.

This, fire experts say, could explain what caused the short-circuit. It is possible that the spark that naturally occurs when an electric appliance is switched on or off - even turning a fan regulator causes a spark - could have caused the short circuit.

Only one CCTV working

While the mezzanine floor had three CCTVs - there were two more on the ground floor - the other two are believed to have been damaged in the fire.

Speaking to sunday mid-day, MV Deshmukh, fire advisor, Government of Maharashtra, said, "LPG gas is heavier than air and, hence, has a tendency to settle on the floor or confine to spaces. It can even form a cloud of gas in a corner of the room."

What this means is that unless the room has large windows, the gas cloud will remain in the room. The window on the Kinara City mezzanine floor was a small grilled one, which means there's little chance that the gas would have escaped, even though it was open.

Deshmukh also said that if the concentration of LPG gas in air is below 1.8 per cent, it is too 'lean' to burn. The maximum concentration of LPG gas in air, referred to as upper explosive limit, is 9.5 per cent. "And, prima facie it seems, that the fire trigger could be the rotating fan or the regulator that was operated seconds before the fire broke out," he said.

He added that it was a serious lacuna on the part of the restaurant to have allowed an LPG cylinder to be kept on the mezzanine floor. An LPG cylinder should be placed on the ground floor. Where the cylinders are used for commercial purposes, pipes can connect the cylinder to floors above.

Assistant Police Commissioner (Kurla division) Srirang Nandgauda said, "We are awaiting the fire department's report to ascertain the exact reason for fire and accordingly will probe the case." Till now, police have not detained any restaurant staff.

BMC crackdown

Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has ordered inspection of small eateries across the city. A team of members of the fire brigade, health and license department officials from each ward will check if commercial establishments have fulfilled BMC and fire brigade norms.

They will also check if any illegal alterations have been made after giving the NOC, or if there has been any change of use of the space. The drive will start from Monday and grade II and III structures (small ones) will be inspected first. The BMC has set a target of 10 inspections per day in each ward.

  • Sunday, 8 November 2015
  • Mumbai

A fire erupted inside a building in Dadar area of Central Mumbai, though no one was injured in the incident, officials said on Sunday.

The blaze occurred at around 11 PM on Saturday inside a house in Ahamad Seller building behind Hindmata Cinema in Dadar, a fire brigade official said.

Prima facie, a short-circuit seems to have caused the fire in the house, he said.

No one was killed or injured in the fire, police said.

Two fire engines managed to douse the flames soon after the mishap, officials added.