Devastating News For Former IPL Cricketer As He Loses Two Family Members In Borivali Fire

Updated - 07 Dec 2023, 11:51 AM

Borivali Fire
Borivali Fire (Credits:X)

In an unexpected turn of events, a Level 1 fire, initially considered non-life-threatening, claimed two lives and left three others with severe burns in a Borivali West housing society on Monday. The fire, which erupted in Flat No 121’s first-floor kitchen, quickly escalated, spreading to the fourth floor of Veena Santoor CHS. Unfortunately, Glory Valthaty (43), the sister of former IPL cricketer Paul Valthaty, and her six-year-old son Joshua were the two unfortunate casualties of this devastating blaze.

The residents of Flat No 121, including a nonagenarian, managed to escape unscathed, while those residing on the fourth floor in Flat No 421, which was home to Valthaty and his family, faced dire consequences.

The tragic incident also left three house helps, Lakshmi Bura (40), Rajeshwari Bhartare (24), and Ranjan Shah (76), with significant burns, all of whom are currently receiving medical care in the MICU ward at Shatabdi Hospital, Kandivali. Bhartare sustained nearly 100% burns, and a firefighter was also injured while combating the blaze.

Senior fire official P R Parulekar expressed his concern about the delay in reporting the fire, stating that the fire brigade was only alerted at 12:30 p.m., despite the fire reportedly starting at 11:30 a.m. This delay proved critical as the fire rapidly intensified within that one-hour window.

Parulekar mentioned that the residents of Flat No 121 forgot to close their doors, allowing smoke to spread through the staircase, and causing suffocation and choking. The presence of flammable items, such as foam furniture and electrical wiring, exacerbated the situation.

The residents of Flat No 421, upon being informed about the fire, panicked and attempted to escape, ultimately becoming trapped in the smoke-filled staircase.

Chief Fire Officer Ravindra Ambulgekar stressed the importance of staying put in high-rises, advising top-floor residents to keep doors and windows shut, with the main door slightly ajar and blocked by a wet cloth to prevent the entry of soot and flames. Attempting to escape through smoke-filled staircases, he warned, could lead to further danger.

Paul Valthaty Narrowly Escaped The Fire

Parulekar listed three potential causes for the accident: a resident may have left something on the gas in the first-floor kitchen, a gas leakage could have occurred, or a wooden pooja mandir (prayer shrine) could have ignited. Investigations are ongoing to determine the exact cause.

“One reason could be that the lady on the first floor who had gone to fetch her kid from school left something on the gas,” he said. “However, she has refuted this. Secondly, there could be a gas leakage and lastly, there was a wooden pooja mandir, which could have caught fire. We are still investigating.”

Nilesh Desai, the secretary of Veena Santoor CHS, recounted the evacuation of a 98-year-old woman from the first floor and praised the prompt response of the fire brigade. Despite residents’ efforts to control the fire using multiple extinguishers, the blaze’s intensity proved insurmountable.

Former IPL cricketer Paul Valthaty narrowly escaped, but the tragedy took the lives of his sister Glory Valthaty and her son Joshua. Glory, who had returned from the UK to visit her ailing mother, had been a doctor at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra, before relocating to Scotland following her marriage. The Valthaty family boasts a strong medical background, with Paul’s mother and three sisters also involved in the medical profession.

Gladstone Behara, Glory’s brother-in-law, recounted the harrowing moments when the fire erupted and revealed that Glory had been at home with her husband Noel, Joshua, and their daughter. Tragically, as Paul went downstairs to drop his children off at school, an explosion occurred. Subsequently, Glory and Joshua were discovered on the first floor, likely trying to escape the thick smoke but ultimately becoming trapped, as fire officers arrived at the scene.


Borivali Fire Indian Premier League (IPL) Paul Valthaty