One of the easiest things is to be part of the crowd and feel sorry for a tragedy that in unfolding in front of your eyes. Throw in some sorry faces, clicking of tongue, making mobile videos, and cursing incompetency of administration, we have the perfect recipe for 'mere spectators'. But to be a savior needs more than just presence of mind. It requires courage to put others above their own safety that comes to only a few. Thankfully, for a Mumbai building that caught fire, air-hostess Radhika Ahire was watching with an intent to tear through the crowd and save the day.
On November 7, 2018, 25-year-old Radhika noticed smoke coming out of an apartment on the ninth floor of Gokul Panchwati building in the suburb of Andheri. Starkly recalling that day she says she was attending a puja her home when she heard a lot of screaming and commotion from nearby. "We saw that from the apartment complex opposite mine, a fire was billowing from the ninth floor,” she says.
She knew that with little help she can save the people trapped inside. Wasting no time, she and her brother, along with a neighbor, got nine fire extinguishers from their building and an axe and rushed towards Gokul Panchwati. High on determination they climbed nine floors as fast as they could and axed the door open.
With a lightning speed they emptied the fire extinguishers to douse the fire but it didn't seem to be enough. The fire had spread quite a bit and they had to use water to get the situation under control. Thankfully, there was no one in the house. Later, it was found out that the fire was caused because of a firecracker that stuck to a curtain.
“Fortunately, the apartment was empty at that time. But until I broke open the main door and another one leading to the bedroom, I had assumed that people might be trapped inside. I had to cover my face with a piece of cloth as the fumes were irritating my eyes and nose.”
It was her training as a air hostess that her how to handle fire on planes and maintain calm and think clearly in such a high tension condition. She says it was the first time when got hands-on experience in handling a fire. Did a pretty good job, right?
Let's all make promise to be good samaritans and help others in every way that we can. Had Radhika waited for firefighters, like other on-lookers on the road, a tragedy would have struck the entire building. We salute her act of bravery and quick wit.
#goodsamaritan #Mumbai #Fire #airhostess