The inferno at a high rise commercial tower in Andheri on Friday, which claimed one fireman's life and left 20 others injured could have been prevented if the building had its fire safety measures in place, said a fireman, who was stuck at the terrace of the building along with 10 others, during the fire fighting operation.

According to the fireman, who requested anonymity, Lotus Business Park had a single staircase. "Any high rise building should at least have two staircases to get an occupation certificate (OC)," said the fireman. He further informed that there was a huge glass construction on the terrace, because of which only a single person could pass through the entrance the terrace at a time. "Many things were kept at the staircase. The sprinklers and the fire fighting system were not working and even the duct box (from where all the wires pass) was not open from one side as it should have been," the jawan revealed.

The incident was a one-of-its-kind, where the fire fighting operation was solely to rescue its own staff, instead of civilians, who were safely evacuated. According to the fireman, the cooling operation was on the 22nd floor, which had initially caught fire. "However, the duct box at the 22nd floor caught fire and that spread to the fifth floor, from where the smoke started going upwards. That's when we realised something was wrong and rushed upstairs. Since the cooling operation was going on at the 22 nd floor, the 21st floor caught fire," the fireman said.

He revealed that even the water line stopped working at the 21st floor. "We had requested for another water line, which was given much later to us. The high pressure pump, used to increase the pressure of the water, was also not working. That's when some of us decided to go to the terrace," said the fireman, adding that Nitin Ivalekar (the deceased fireman) also collapsed at that time because of the smoke and was immediately engulfed by fire. He said the building floors were also not numbered which created confusion.

The BMC administration for the first time, has decided to cancel the fire occupation certificate of the building after the incident and said that it would only be given back to them, once fully-operationalfire-fighting equipment is brought in. Another round of investigation on the issue will start under additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani.

13th floor proved to be unlucky for Lotus Business Park:Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh told reporters on Monday that the building didn't have the 13th floor. There was 14th directly after floor 12th floor. However, absence of the unlucky number did not prove lucky for the building.