A woman and her seven-year-old niece died, while 15 others suffered burns when a fire gutted three buildings in Outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri on Saturday night.
The dead were identified as Sulekha and her niece Gayathri. The injured were rushed to Sanjay Gandhi hospital, from where they were referred to Safdarjung hospital.
The Delhi Fire Services received a call about the fire, which broke out barely 50 metres from the Mangolpuri police station, around 3.45 am. “We dispatched 10 fire tenders to the spot and it took two hours to douse the flames,” a fire official said.
“We reached the spot almost immediately and began evacuating the families sleeping in the affected buildings. Many jumped to their neighbours’ houses from terraces and balconies. But many were trapped inside and suffered burns,” a senior police officer said.
Local residents said a tree near the buildings and straw mats and fuel kept outside the buildings fanned the fire.
“The fire started from a short circuit in the main power line. The flames also gutted several parked cycles and motorcycles. Everybody was fast asleep,” Yogender, brother-in-law of Sulekha, said.
Police have registered a case of negligence. AAP leader Rakhi Birla and Minister of SC/ST and Women and Child Welfare Sandeep Yadav visited the spot and offered their condolences to the victims.
“We complained to Yadav. He promised all help. He said he had asked LNJP hospital to admit four of the injured,” a resident said.
Police said the affected families, who make mats for a living, will be liable for compensation, especially the families of those who died and those who have suffered serious burns.