Swapnalok fire victims were celebrating, ignored alarm
Deccan Chronicle.| Syed Omar Farooq
The victims were about to cut a cake as they had received their appointment and appreciation letters from the management when they got trapped. (Image: S. Surender Reddy/DC)
HYDERABAD: Six people who died in a fire at the Swapnalok Complex in Secunderabad on March 17 were celebrating their appointments on the premises of Q-Net Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt. Ltd when a fire broke out, a lift operator in the complex said.
The victims, Triveni, Shiva, Vennela, Pramila, B. Sravani, B. Prashant and Vijay, were about to cut a cake as they had received their appointment and appreciation letters from the management when they got trapped.
Lift operator Hari Prasad said that after the office was engulfed in thick smoke, Vijay managed to break a glass window and stood on the pavement of the fifth floor, following which he was rescued by firefighters.
Hari Prasad said he first noticed smoke coming from the main door of Vikas Paper Flexo Packaging Limited’s office on the fifth floor.
"I first alerted all the offices that were open on the fifth floor, following which the employees immediately got down and managed to escape to the open place of the B block, at the rear side of the complex," Hari Prasad said.
"I noticed that the lights in Q-Net offices were on and when I came close to the main door, I heard people talking. It seemed that they were not aware (of the fire)," he said.
He said that he continuously rapped on the door, but there was no response for a while, following which a woman answered the door after a while. But, despite raising the alarm, they were not bothered about it, he said.
"I saw a group of seven people, including four women, in a party mood. They had placed a cake and eatables on the centre of the table and the air conditioner was on. After one of the women slammed the door shut, not realising the seriousness, I called the owner of Q-Net Vihaan Shiva, but he too did not respond to my call," Hari Prasad said.
He said that he then helped evacuate people from offices on floors one to six, including a chartered accounting agency, where 12 people were working.
"It was Hari who informed everyone and saved the lives of hundreds of people. Otherwise, there would have been hundreds of casualties. The old man going to every floor and informing about the fire," the CA said.
"When Hari informed me about people in the Q-Net office, I too rushed with him and tried to enter the B-block, but it was too late then. It was pitch dark and the fire had spread to the first floor. I remember it was 7.15 pm then," the CA said.