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We were lucky as rooftop gate was open: Bailey Road tragedy survivor

Staff Reporter:

A Stamford University professor with his wife and two daughters entered the new Bailey Road building around 9:30 pm.

At 10:20 pm, he wrote on his Facebook page, “I am in the fire at Bailey Road with my family. Pray for us.”

Kamruzzaman, along with his daughters Waziha Zaman Majumder (12) and Wazah Zaman Majumder (7), and his wife Advocate Mahrufa Gulshan Ara, were Chumuk restaurants on the 5th floor of the seven-storey building named Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall.

Environmental science professor at Stamford University, Kamruzzaman Majumder, said, “When the fire was billowing up, I was on the rooftop with my family members. I was thinking about whether it was easy to jump off of the rooftop or get burned. We were between the options.”

With other survivors, the family was later rescued by the Fire Service and Civil Defence through their ladders.

Kamruzzaman said, “We could not sense the fire when it began in the lower floors of the building. We could sense it later, only seeing smoke billowing up and hearing hue and cry. The fire engulfed the floor within a few moments. We were 35–40 on the floor.”

He said, “My wife persuaded me to exit the building downstairs. But I decided not to go down. I decided to go upstairs. We were lucky, as the gate to the rooftop of the building was open. If we had gone downstairs, we might have been burned alive because those who then went down to escape lost their lives.”

He thinks the glass walls of the building helped the fire to enhance and the smoke to stick inside and spread.

The professor said, “We had no previous knowledge of how we would evacuate if it caught fire. There was only a stair that was too narrow in the huge commercial building. Rajuk, city corporation, fire services—nobody can avoid the responsibility of such a massacre. We, as users, had no conscience about what could happen in the event of a fire. We all have to take a lesson from the incident.”

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