Two women were killed in the fire, which police say may have started after a gas cylinder explosion.

The apartment where fire broke out after the fire was dousedTNM
news Accident Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 11:32

It was an otherwise ordinary afternoon for Mandeep, a resident of the first floor of Ashrith Aspire apartment complex in Devarachikkanahalli area of Bengaluru’s Bommanahalli, till around 4:30 pm when he was alerted of a fire in the building by the security guard. The fire had broken out on the floor above his, and when he rushed out to check, all he could see was a massive ball of fire. 

“I am new to this building and have been living with my wife here only for the past two months,” Mandeep told TNM. “Once I made my way to the second floor to check the situation myself, the fire had become huge. It was not smoke, but a ball of fire coming out of the door. So I rushed down and went out of the building along with my wife. By that time, everyone was alerted and we all left,” he recounted.

However, two people were not that lucky. The fire claimed the lives of Lakshmi Devi (82) and her daughter Rekha (59), residents of an apartment on the floor above his. A tragic visual showed one of them trapped in a balcony, engulfed in flames, her last few moments caught on camera by worried bystanders from the ground below. 

Much like Mandeep, Prithvi* also got a sudden call for help from his next-door neighbours. They wanted him to join them to try and douse the fire that had broken out on the floor. Prithvi has been living on the second floor along with his parents and brother for the past three years. “They asked me to get a bucket of water and help them,” he said. But within a matter of minutes, the firefighters who made their way into the building made everyone leave the building, using the stairwell. Following their instructions, he and his brother who was also at home made their way out.

Read: Video: Fire breaks out at Bengaluru apartment, leaves two dead

According to senior officials, a preliminary investigation has shown that the fire had broken out after a cooking gas cylinder exploded. Fire officials accessed an adjoining empty plot to douse the fire. Officials refused to comment on if any fire safety norm was violated.

“The fire was reported around 4:30-4:35 pm and one team from Hulimavu reached by 4:50 pm. Subsequently, two other vehicles were rushed as the fire was of a more serious nature than initially estimated. The fire was extinguished around an hour later. Though the complete investigation is awaited, the present information suggests that the fire was caused due to the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder,” senior IPS officer and Director General of Police, Fire And Emergency Services Amar Kumar Pandey, who reached the spot, told reporters.

In order to ascertain there is no further mishap, the authorities did not allow residents to access the building until late on Tuesday night. Power connections to the building were shut down and Bescom officials were pressed in to check for damages in the power line. Some residents chose to stay at their relatives’ or friends’ houses fearing that the authorities may not allow entry for the night.

*Name changed

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