At about 5 am I heard sounds as though there was a hailstorm … I opened the door of our balcony and I could smell the smoke but couldn’t place where it was coming from. We then heard someone shouting at the top of their voice “aag lagi hai bachao, koi bachao”. We ran out to check where the fire was – finally figured out it was in the floor below ours (11th). Some of the security guards and Kitu’s husband reached at the same time. Narayanan (pedal yatri friend) from H block also landed up. The security guards tried to open the door but they had to break it down. There were 5 boys inside, all safe. One of them had infact walked out onto the ledge outside the bathroom and he had shouted for help.
Nearly 10 to 12 fire extinguishers were used and then the hose. Finally the fire came under control before the fire engines could arrive. The fire engines did not have enough space to turn into the G block ! Nitin had called the fire station and also went out in his car to get them. Many residents were fast asleep, oblivious to the drama. Several things that went wrong –
1. One of the boys had smoked and probably dozed off with the lighted cigarette burning up the sofa
2. The smoke detector was pushed into POP and a lamp was hanging in its place
3. The fire engines could not turn into G block due to the cars parked … These are massive trucks needing more space to turn
Just the living room got gutted, every other room was intact and we didn’t feel even the heat on our floor and the smoke went away within a couple of hours. The clothes that were outside for drying had some soot on them, otherwise all ok.
Most importantly all the people are safe !
Everyone needs to be careful with a few things –
1. Don’t tamper with safety systems
2. Switch off the gas before retiring for the night
3. Switch off the mains in case of a fire
4. Keep a torch or headlamp handy
5. Keep the cellphone charged and with the fire station, ambulance and police numbers stored
6. Get some basic emergency response training
What a coincidence – dad’s birthday today !