Hyderabad: The fire at the Swapnalok Complex in Secunderabad occurred due to a short circuit and the fifth floor suffered extensive damage, the Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services officials found during their preliminary investigation.
“The corridor on the fifth floor was occupied with cardboard and other combustible material helping the fire spread rapidly. The electric ducts were covered with wooden doors as against required fire doors,” said the fire department officials.
During the inspection of the Swapnalok complex in Secunderabad done recently, the management was advised to rectify the deficits but they failed to comply, the officials pointed out.
Six persons died due to asphyxiation after getting stuck in an office on the fifth floor of the building. The deceased are V Shiva, 22, Triveni, 22, Vennela, 22, K Prameela, 22, B Shravani, 22 and Prashant, 23. The firefighters rescued 12 people using sky lifts.
Challenges to douse Swapnalok Complex fire:
Firemen faced a lot of problems while battling the fire as the available firefighting equipment was not in working condition, the door leading to the external staircase was locked and the firefighters had to break it open. The external staircase was filled with waste articles and debris. The setbacks at the building were used as vehicle parking leading to hindrance for the movement of the Bronto Sky Lift.
The fire department advised the owners of buildings to install fire fighting measures as per the national building code applicable to the type of building and occupation.
The fire fighting systems should be maintained periodically and checked daily if necessary. The larger business complexes or establishments should appoint fire safety officers with similar terms of security staff to take care of the fire safety systems and implement fire safety drills.
The department asked the building occupants to keep clear escape routes free of waste material. It asked the owners to ensure the setback areas are kept free of vehicles to allow firemen to work in case of a fire mishap.
The department said that after the Deccan Mall fire accident at Minister Road, a joint inspection was done of 1150 buildings and Greater Hyderabad and notices were issued to rectify deficiencies in fire safety norms.
Another 650 hazardous premises including industries, chemical godowns, scrap godowns and other hazardous premises was done in Cyberabad.