Monday, November 29, 1999

Woman dies in fire in Vikhroli flat

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A 60-year-old woman was killed in a major fire in her apartment on the 15th floor of Presidential Towers in Vikhroli on Sunday evening. The fire that broke out in the 1,000-sq-ft flat in Wing A of the building raged for over two hours before it was extinguished by the fire brigade.Deputy fire officer AN Shinde said though there was a fire fighting system in the building, a major part of it was dysfunctional."Though there was a fixed fire fighting installation in the passage of the building, it was not in a working condition because of which we had to take our pipes internally till the 15th floor," said Shinde.Victim Lata Duggad was staying alone in the flat for the past four days after her family went abroad on holiday, said a fire brigade official. The fire stared at 4.40 pm and the fire brigade was informed by neighbours around 4.50 pm. According to neighbours, Duggad could not escape fire because of her old age. She was staying with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.Though fire officials were not able to ascertain the cause of fire, they said a cylinder leak or a short circuit could have caused it. "We will take up detailed investigation to find out the exact cause," said Shinde.The fire was declared a grade II major fire by the fire brigade. Eight fire engines, 6 jumbo water tankers, two ambulances and a snorkel were rushed to the spot.Sources from the fire brigade said that the flat opposite Duggad's flat is owned by suspended MNS MLA from Ghatkopar Ram Kadam and is occupied by his brother's family. However, Kadam was unavailable for comment.

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