Mumbai, May 17: At 3 am on Tuesday, a fire at a Chawla Builders construction site on Andheri-Kurla Road destroyed the 100 huts inside, leaving nearly 500 people homeless.
The huts belonged to the labourers who lived on the site. Three children were injured and two shops near the site were also destroyed.
Hidden from cops
As soon as the families saw the fire, they ran out of the compound through the different gates to save themselves. But three children were injured in the fire. “One has burnt his hand, the other two have injuries on their legs,” said a labourer, who was at the site.
However, it was not brought to the notice of the cops and the fire brigade officials, as the caretaker of the property, Kashyab Patel, hid the injured children to avoid complications in the case.
A security guard, on condition of anonymity, revealed, “Our boss kept the three injured kids behind. He sent them to a doctor later.”
When MiD DAY spoke to Patel, he said, “It’s not a major fire and no one is injured. Don’t write about it.”
Cause not known
“We don’t know what caused the fire. There may have been a short circuit. We just ran with our family and whatever valuables we could gather. Some of the labourers have been injured, but I don’t think anyone has died,” said Anu Mantu, a labourer.
It took three hours and five fire engines to put out the fire. The cops and the fire brigade officials too suspect the fire could have been caused by a short circuit but are yet to confirm it.
Could’ve been worse
The fire could have turned out to be more devastating if it had not been controlled on time, as there is a call centre Logitech in the same compound. Just next to the compound is a Reliance office and there are two petrol pumps near the site too.