Firemen were on Wednesday successful in dousing a fire on the top floor of a 33-storey Mumbai building after battling leaping flames for nearly five hours. Although all residents were evacuated, two firemen suffered from suffocation and were rushed to a hospital.
Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, who lives in Beaumonde Towers on the 26th floor, said she was safe and expressed her prayers for the well-being of the firefighters. Padukone was out for a shoot but her personal staff were among those who were evacuated as a precaution.
"I am safe. Thank You everyone. Let us pray for our firefighters who are at site risking their lives," she tweeted.
According to BMC Disaster Control, the fire erupted around 2.10 pm on the two uppermost penthouse floors 33 and 32, of the five-year-old building, sending thick black clouds of smoke billowing from the tallest residential tower in Prabhadevi area of Dadar west.
Later, after nearly three hours, the flames started spreading out on to the lower floors creating panic among the flat owners who include several celebrities, top share broker Anand Rathi and Amisha Vora, business and glamour world personalities besides Padukone.
More than two dozen fire-tenders, including sophisticated lifts and cranes, were deployed to fight the blaze and there no reports of any casualties so far.
After around five hours, the fire was brought under control and stopped from spreading to other lower or adjoining floors.
The fire emanated from the flat whose owners are currently abroad, but their residence has been reduced to ashes, according to some society members.
There were conflicting reports whether the safety and fire-fighting equipment in the building were functional or not in the three-building complex constructed by Sheth Builders in 2012.
Local Shiv Sena legislator Sada Sarvankar also raised doubts over whether fire-safety norms had been complied or not for the building.
Social media went viral with pictures and videos of the inferno shot from various close or distant locations, as the smoke clouds were visible at long distances downtown south and the suburbs, and the Bandra Worli Sea Link.