Seventeen employees of IT companies, two fire brigade personnel and a police constable were injured during evacuation.
The IT Park has over 20 companies with more than 500 employees each.
As many as 100 people were trapped in the area affected by the fire and had to be evacuated, fire brigade officials said, adding that prima facie, a short circuit led to the blaze.
“Victims did not suffer any burn injuries, and were wounded only on account of the lobby glasses broken to let out the dense smoke. Glass pieces shattered on the floor and victims hurt themselves while walking on it amid panic and chaos,” officials added.
A big piece of glass fell from a height directly on the feet of a police constable assisting fire brigade personnel.
This is the second fire incident of its kind within the last three weeks to affect a multi-storied IT Park in the city. On May 9, a fire broke out in the electrical duct of an IT Park in Vimannagar, but no one was injured and employees were safely evacuated.
Pune’s chief fire officer Devendra Potphode told TOI, “We have urged all IT Parks and commercial centres to clean up their ducts. We have decided to send our specialised bronto vehicle if a fire breaks out in any IT Park, since it helps us execute search-and-rescue operations.”
The fire was detected as dense smoke spread across the second floor and billowed out. It affected the upper floors, causing chaos and commotion among staffers.
Fire officer Kailash Shinde, fireman Shafiq Sayyed and a police constable were injured while breaking the glass panes of the lobby.
Potphode said, “There was no one seriously injured. We rescued 47 of the 100-odd employees on the upper floors, while the rest came down with the help of their colleagues. The fire broke out in the electrical duct around 11am. We received an emergency call at 11.30am. The whole operation took 1.5 hours”
A preliminary study revealed the electrical duct was not maintained properly and there was some garbage piled up there. The cables heated up with use, triggering a fire amid the cables and garbage. The burning rubber and plastic coating of cables caused the dense smoke, he added.
An officer from the IT Park told TOI, “Some employees sustained injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital. There were about 500 personnel in the building when the incident took place. We will study the cause of the fire to prevent a return.”
A woman techie told TOI, “We were returning to our desks after the morning break, when all of a sudden the entire floor was filled with smoke. We were not able to either breathe or see.”
Research analyst turns rescuer
A research analyst working with a software company worked tirelessly to evacuate his colleagues and also salvage their belongings.
Fazal Wahid Memon (27) was hailed as a hero. “We had our morning break and went to the canteen area around 10.45am. After tea, we were returning to our office when the fire broke out.”
“Within seconds, there was smoke in the office and we were unable to breathe. One of my colleagues and I broke down the glass panes, but it was not sufficient. There was chaos. We managed to rescue many. I kept going upstairs and salvaged the belongings of my colleagues.”