Thane: In a gruesome Diwali tragedy, six firemen suffocated to death after they battled a blaze in a multi-storied building in Thane on early Sunday, a senior officer said.
The victims suffocated due to toxic fumes which engulfed the lift of the 14-storey building in which they were returning after dousing fire, Thane Chief Fire Officer Vijay Vaidya said.
After they successfully doused the fire on the terrace of the building, they got trapped in the lift and choked in the fumes that may have accumulated there, he said.
All those dead were from the Wagle Estate Fire Brigade and had answered an emergency call around 0430 hrs (local time) on the top floor of the 14-storied Punarvasu Building in the posh Tarangan Complex.
Vaidya said it was the second fire call from the same building in less than four hours as people were bursting Diwali crackers.
"The first call was just before midnight when a minor fire broke out in a flat on the top floor of the building. Our men extinguished it and had returned to the fire-station," he said.
Later around 0430 hrs, they attended another call from the same building where a fire broke out on the terrace of the building as people were bursting crackers, he said.
After the firemen brought the blaze under control, they were returning from the lift "when the horrible tragedy occurred," Vaidya said.
The victims have been identified as J C Singh, Avdhut Thanekar, S R Jamadar, Kishore Patil, S K S Shinde and Kale, an official from the fire control said.
There were no other casualties and a probe has been ordered into the incident.