A couple died of suffocation allegedly after a fire engulfed their apartment in Anandnagar area of Ahmedabad in the early hours of Saturday.
Police said the fire was suspected to have been caused by a short-circuit. The couple’s daughters and the latter’s 70-year-old grandmother are critical and is admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital.
Achal Shah (50), who was the Gujarat marketing head of The Times of India, his wife Premila (49), daughters Arohi, 13, and Ishita, 17, and Shah’s mother, Snehlata, were sleeping when the storeroom of their apartment on the sixth floor of the 11-storey building — Ishan-3 B caught fire engulfing entire flat in smoke.
Fire officials said that they received a message at around 2:30 am that a flat had caught fire. Neighbours called the fire department when they saw smoke coming out of the flat. When the fire team reached, they had to break open the front door to enter the flat.
Police inspector at the Anandnagar police station S J Baloch said, “The firemen found that the storeroom had caught fire that was beside the kitchen. The hall, dining area and three rooms were filled with smoke.”
The fire officials found the door of the flat locked from inside. They broke open the door and found that thick smoke had engulfed the whole flat. The firemen found the whole family in an unconscious state.
As per the fire officials, primary investigation suggested that the couple suffocated to death due to smoke. A case of accidental death has been registered, police said.
Officials said that the fire was not big but it was smoke that choked the family members. “Only the storeroom had caught fire. There was no ventilation in the flat and all the rooms were closed. The couple was taken to a hospital when they were unconscious and declared dead in the hospital soon after. They died due to asphyxiation,” said chief fire officer M F Dastoor.
The daughters and the grandmother are under intensive care in Shalby Hospital.