Serum Institute Fire: “I Jumped From Third Floor, Saved My Life But Lost My Brother”

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Pune, January 22, 2021: “In the afternoon we saw smoke coming out from the third floor. We jumped from the third floor to save our lives”, said Avinashkumar Saroj who was successful to save his life after a massive fire broke out at Serum Institute of India’s under-construction building in Manjari on Thursday.

“After the fire was doused, it was dark everywhere and it was night”, he said while sobbing. Apparently, Avinash lost his brother Vipinkumar Saroj in the fire. Vipinkumar too was in the same building working along with Avinashkumar.

“We saw smoke coming out from the third floor and fire broke out. We all started running haywire, I was shouting ‘Bhai chalo jaldi’, as the fire was spreading. Though I could not see the fire, the smoke had covered the entire area. Here, we lost contact”, he recalled.

“I reached the window. We were on the third floor. We had no option but to jump out of the window. Luckily, there was sand so few of us jumped on it. I thought my brother too had jumped on it, but I could not find him anywhere”, he said with tears rolling out on his cheeks.

The fire began around 2.45 pm and was finally extinguished at 4.10 pm. The fire reached the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors of an under-construction building near terminal 1 gate. Due to the fire, a swell of smoke spread all around.

The deceased persons have been identified as Rama Shankar Harijan, Vipin Saroj, both residents of Uttar Pradesh, Sushil Kumar Pandey of Bihar, Mahendra Ingle and Pratik Pashte, both residents of Pune. All were contractual labourers who were doing electrical works.