Four patients died after a fire broke out at a private hospital near Thane in Maharashtra in the wee hours of Wednesday, a civic official said.

The patients died while being shifted to other hospitals after the blaze and not due to burns, the official said. They may have inhaled smoke after the fire, he added.

The incident comes five days after 15 coronavirus patients died in a blaze in the intensive care unit of a private hospital at Virar in the adjoining Palghar district.

Wednesday's fire broke out at the Prime Criticare Hospital at Kausa-Mumbra locality at 3.40 am, the official said. There were no coronavirus patients in the hospital, he added.

Three fire engines and five ambulances were rushed to the spot. The blaze has been extinguished, the official said.

Twenty patients including six in the intensive care unit of the hospital were evacuated, he said.

Maharashtra minister and local MLA Jitendra Awhad told reporters at the scene that the fire destroyed the first floor of the hospital.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been informed of the tragedy, he said. The family of each deceased will be given a compensation of Rs. five lakh and those injured will get Rs one lakh each, he added.

A high-level enquiry committee has been constituted to go into the cause of the fire, the minister said. It will comprise officials from the Thane Municipal Corporation and also police and medical personnel, he added.

Twenty two COVID-19 patients on ventilator or oxygen support suffocated to death when their oxygen supply stopped suddenly due to a malfunction in the main storage at a civic hospital in Nashik last week.

A fire broke out in Mumbai's Dreams Mall, which housed a Covid-designated hospital, in the intervening night of March 25-26. The fire, which raged for over 40 hours, claimed nine lives, including those of patients on ventilator support.

Ten infants died in a fire at a special newborn care unit of the Bhandara district hospital in the state on January 9. Seventeen infants, aged one to three months, were in the ward at the time of the tragedy.

In October last year, two patients died while being shifted after a fire broke out at a private hospital in Mumbai's Mulund suburb.