The Kapoor family got a clean chit from the fire department over the blaze that destroyed a part of the RK Studios in Chembur on September 16. This comes after the Kapoor brothers’ contention that the accident took place before the renovation work was completed. The work had apparently started in 2014.
The fire took place due to a short circuit that gutted Stage One of the studio entirely. On September 28, the fire department issued a notice to the owners stating alleged violation of safety norms.
According to the fire department report obtained by the Mumbai Mirror, the firefighting equipment was not in place at the studio. The electric circuit used for lighting arrangements was defective and it was too close to the curtains. It had come into contact with combustible material, which led to the rapid spread of the fire.
Randhir Kapoor in a reply to the show cause notice said that RK Films and Studios were in the process of carrying out all the compliances required by the fire department, such as installing sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc, and it was unfortunate that the fire broke out before the work could be completed.
Moreover, the officials told the Mumbai Mirror that the underground water storage tank, which should ideally have provided enough water for fire-fighting operations for two hours could barely last 30 minutes. Their report also said that the premises were used for film shoots and other events, despite not complying with all fire safety measures.
The Kapoor brothers were also planning to construct a small museum inside the iconic studio to showcase all the memorabilia which had been part of Raj Kapoor movies. At that time, they had sought an NOC from the fire department. The fire officials had given them a list of the firefighting equipment which needed to be installed. In his reply to the fire department, Kapoor said a licensed agency had been appointed to carry out all the compliances which the fire department had asked for when they had approached them for an NOC in 2014.
Chief Fire Ofiicer, Prabhat Rahangdale said to Mumbai Mirror, "It is after the completion of the renovation they would have approached us for an inspection and then the NOC. Also, as the studio is very old, it does not come under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention Act. Thus, as the work was in progress, they cannot be prosecuted."