In a devastating incident, a massive fire engulfed a multi-storeyed apartment complex in Hyderabad, resulting in the tragic loss of at least nine lives. The blaze, which began on the ground floor where chemicals were stored, rapidly spread through the building, leading to panic and chaos.
According to police reports, the fire started from the ground floor of the building, where several drums containing chemicals were kept. This hazardous storage not only initiated the fire but also accelerated its spread to the upper floors. Over 20 people were evacuated from the building, as reported by a senior official of the Fire Department.
The fatalities were predominantly among the residents of the first and second floors, who were living there as tenants. The intensity of the fire and the building’s layout made escape difficult, trapping many inside. However, individuals on the third and fourth floors managed to escape with minor injuries, indicating that the fire’s impact was less severe on the higher levels.
The building’s owner, Ramesh Jaiswal, is now at large. He had been using the ground floor as a godown to store oil drums and cans, a practice that evidently flouted safety norms and contributed to the tragedy. The incident raises serious questions about the enforcement of fire safety regulations and the casual approach towards storing hazardous materials in residential buildings.
During the rescue operation, firefighters performed heroic acts, including saving a child and a woman trapped in the building. A video circulated by ANI showed the dramatic rescue, where the team used a temporary staircase to evacuate the child and woman from the first floor. This footage also captured firefighters battling the blaze with water cannons, showcasing their valiant efforts under perilous conditions.
The incident has sparked a debate on the need for stricter enforcement of fire safety norms in buildings, especially those with mixed-use purposes. The storage of hazardous materials in residential buildings poses a significant risk not only to the occupants but also to the emergency responders. This tragedy underscores the urgent need for comprehensive fire safety audits and stricter adherence to fire codes, particularly in densely populated urban areas.
The local authorities are now faced with the task of not only providing relief to the affected families but also ensuring that such incidents do not recur. Investigations are underway to ascertain the exact cause of the fire and to bring the building owner to justice. However, the broader issue at hand is the systemic lapses in safety standards and the casual attitude towards potential hazards in residential areas.
As the city mourns the loss of lives and grapples with the aftermath of this calamity, it is a stark reminder of the importance of fire safety and the need for vigilant enforcement of regulations. This incident serves as a wake-up call, urging authorities and citizens alike to prioritize safety and prevent such tragedies in the future.