2 employees charred to death, 18 vehicles gutted in Maruti Showroom fire at Kharghar
Two employees were charred to death after a fire broke out at the Excell Autovista Maruti Showroom located in Sector 10 of Kharghar, Navi Mumbai early Sunday morning.
The showroom is located on the ground floor of Aditya Planet, a 13-storey residential building.
The deceased, identified as Jitendra Kumar (22) and Krishna Bodvar (26), worked as housekeepers in the showroom. They would would lock the shutter from the inside and sleep inside the showroom every night.
Around 4:30 am on Sunday, the building’s watchman saw smoke emanating from the showroom, following which he alerted the residents. They immediately informed the fire department and tried to douse the flames with their own fire extinguishers.
Within minutes, 12 fire engines and 8 water tankers from CIDCO, NMMC and MIDC arrived at the spot. However, they were unable to reach the showroom’s entrance as it was blocked by parked display cars.
After about four hours of fire fighting, the blaze was brought under control and the bodies of both staffers were recovered from the mezzanine floor. Prima facie, the blaze seems to have been caused due to a short circuit.
Kharghar fire station officer Pravin Bodake confirmed that nine new unsold cars and three display cars were completed gutted in the fire. Another six cars parked outside the showroom were also damaged.
A showroom official has pegged the vehicle related loss at Rs 50 lakh. In addition, the interior of the entire premise has also been charred.
According to Santosh Paul, chairman of the housing society, the residents cannot take any action against the showroom’s owner as the conveyance deed has not been transferred to them by the builder – Galaxy Developers.
Paul has also alleged that the showroom’s owner has made numerous internal changes.
Following the incident, Kharghar Police Station have launched an investigation to ascertain if the blaze started due to negligence on part of the showroom’s owner.
Meanwhile, even though the blaze was confined to the lower floor, the fire department has asked residents to get a structural audit of the building done to ensure it is safe for residing.