(22 August 2018) When A Fire Broke Out at the 12th Floor of a 16 Story Residential Building in Mumbai

“The past is behind,

learn from it.

The future is ahead,

prepare for it.” 


Crystal Tower had over 100 residents. Zen Sadavarte, who was a class-3 student then, was sleeping when her mother spotted the smoke at around 8 am. Zen was trapped on the 12th floor of the 16-storied-building where the fire had started. However, without getting deterred Zen showed presence of mind and applied the safety tips taught to her in the school.

Upon spotting fire, as everybody rushed out for safety, an asthmatic girl was feeling breathless. Upon hearing her mother cry Zen quickly took pieces of cloth from her house, wet them and urged her family and neighbors to cover their noses with them and breathe through it. It is remarkable indeed that a 10-year-old girl remembered this fact and urged the 17 people around her to follow it, which kept them safe till they were rescued.

What Happened?

  • Because of the smoke and heat on the 12th floor, the people on upper floors were also trapped.
  • Fire personnel said that while the flames were raging, some of the inhabitants tried to use the lift to escape. However, after the fire doused two dead bodies were recovered from the lift on the 12th floor.
  • About 30 Stranded peoples were rescued with the help of special appliances and building stairway by firemen.
  • Four residents of the building including an elderly woman identified as Subhadha Shelke (62) died due to suffocation while 16 others suffered suffocation.


What Went Wrong?

  • It has been observed that the firefighting system of the tower was not in working condition.
  • Electrical wiring in the duct area of the building may have caused the fire on the 12th floor.
  • Electric duct was not sealed at each floor level.
  • Dense smoke spread on upper floors.
  • There were fire extinguishers on the 12th floor but they were not operational.
  • Sources in the fire department said that according to the residents the fire was an outcome of blast in the compressor of an air conditioning unit.

(Sources: newindianexpress & indiatoday websites)

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