Today morning, a massive fire broke out in Crystal Towers, a high-rise residential building in Parel, Mumbai. Shortly after, several alarming images of the incident were circulated in the media, and one can see clouds of smoke billowing out from the upper floors of the building.
Since the fire had broken out between the 12th to 16th floors of the building, the evacuation process was extremely challenging. The lifts could not be used, and with smoke rapidly-filling up the floors, the lives of several people were in danger.
In this catastrophic situation, the quick-thinking on the part of 11-year-old Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, a resident of the 16th floor, was instrumental in saving many lives. Speaking to Firstpost, she said that as soon as her family saw the smoke emerging from the 12th floor, she opened the windows, stepped outside her home, knocked on the doors of her neighbours and alerted them about the fire.
Zen had learnt about the do’s and don’ts in case of fire in her school.
The alert young girl asked 15-16 of her neighbours to cover their mouth with a wet cloth. According to the publication, she had also quickly made a purifier with cotton and water and handed it over to them. This prevented the people from suffocating in the smoke that was engulfing the building.
Narendra Tembulkar, who lives in a building near Crystal Towers saw large waves of smoke coming from the high-rise.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he rushed to the building where the police had already arrived.
The fire tenders were yet to reach, so the police, along with Narendra, started to rescue people and worked together to contain the fire.
Speaking to Daily News and Analysis, Narendra said, “I managed to pull out a gas cylinder from one of the homes. We also pulled out some people from the flats. They were choking because of the smoke, but they were stable.”
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Termed as a Grade 4 or high-intensity fire, it was later reported that it had claimed the lives of four people. Over 16 were suffocated in the blaze, and are currently being treated in the KEM hospital.
If not for the presence of mind and bravery exhibited by Zen, Narendra as well as the police and fire department, perhaps this number would have been much higher.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)