When a fire broke out on the 19th floor of the 'One Avighna Park' building in central Mumbai around noon on Friday, Arun Tiwari (30), a security guard, was among those who rushed to help a family stuck inside a flat.
They succeeded in rescuing a woman and two children, but Tiwari got trapped inside.
A video showing a hapless Tiwari holding onto the railing of the balcony of the flat on the 19th floor and dangling precariously before falling down went viral even as fire brigade vehicles rushed to the spot. He was taken to the civic-run KEM hospital but was declared dead.
Some colleagues of Tiwari who did not wish to be named said he was making routine rounds when the fire alarm went off and the building's security guards received a message about fire in a 19th floor flat.
He and other guards rushed to douse the fire using fire extinguishers, they said.
A woman and two children were inside the flat where the fire had erupted, probably due to a short circuit.
The guards rescued them and tried to douse the flames using extinguishers, they said.
But soon the flat was filled with thick black smoke, making it impossible to breathe, so they ran out into the corridor.
Tiwari, however, was trapped inside, a colleague said, adding that he probably could not find his way out as the fire was near the flat's door.
"He called me on my mobile. As it was impossible to escape through the door, I asked him to wait in a corner of the balcony till the fire brigade came to rescue," the colleague said.
Another colleague said that Tiwari then possibly tried to descend onto the small cubical balcony on the floor below, but misjudged its position and distance and was left dangling before losing grip and falling.
A fire brigade personnel said that Tiwari first hit the corner of the parking area and then fell down further on top of a fire engine while its ladder was being raised to rescue him.
Tiwari, who hailed from a village near Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, was working at One Avighna Park for the past eight years and everyone in the building knew him as a nice human being, his colleagues said.
Only two security guards from the agency which managed the building's security earlier were retained and one of them was Tiwari, said one colleague.
"He was a very nice man, hard-working," he said with moist eyes while waiting for the hospital to release Tiwari's body after autopsy.
Recently he had bought a new mobile phone, Tiwari's colleague said. "Somebody had gifted him a bag which he planned to take with him while visiting his native place. He had also bought a new pair of shoes, which he had not worn even once."
Mukesh Pandey, a distant relative of Tiwari, said he was unmarried and is survived by his mother and an elder brother who live near in Uttar Pradesh.
Another relative said they have decided to take the body to his village for the last rites.