Updated: January 16, 2021 4:44:47 am
Three people, including an eight-year-old and a bystander who tried to rescue him, died in a fire that broke out in a building at the furniture market in Kirti Nagar Thursday night.
Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg said, “We got a call around 11 pm that a fire had broken out at a godown at the Kamala Nehru camp, where fires usually spread very quickly. Above the shop was a cluster of rooms with many tenants. The building had collapsed completely. Search operations for survivors went on till morning.” He said that the cause of the fire has not been determined so far.
The victims were identified as Rohit (20), Sanjay (32) and Rajesh (8).
Two of them were among the families which lived in the eight rooms above the shop at the furniture market.
Rajesh’s mother Manorama (25), who works as a domestic help, said, “We were sleeping and woke up due to a feeling of immense heat… As we were running out, I grabbed my younger son, who is two years old. Rajesh could not make it as he fell unconscious. There was so much smoke, we could hardly see.”
First to arrive at the spot and raise an alarm was Rohit (20), a resident of the nearby JJ colony.
Kamal (20), who works at one of the factories in the area and is an acquaintance of Rohit, said, “Rohit drives a van and used to park it right near this shop. He was the first one to notice the smoke coming out of the building. He raised the alarm, and managed to save many people.”
Kamal too helped in evacuating people from the spot. “Rohit did not return when he went back to save Rajesh,” he said.
Rina Devi (35), Rohit’s aunt, said, “We kept calling his mobile till 2 am but we never got a response. He lost his life saving others.” She said they also lost a ration/grocery shop in the fire.
Rohit’s cousin Gautam (14) said, “A few of us searched for his body in the morning and found it around 8 am. It was in the drain running behind the building and was buried under the debris… I couldn’t recognise him but he had a tattoo of a star on his arm and used to wear white sneakers… that’s how I knew it was him.”
Meanwhile, police are on the lookout for the owner of the building.
Vijay Kumar Singh, SHO of the Kirti Nagar police station, said, “We got a PCR call at 10.55 pm, and reached the spot in a few minutes. The landlord of the building, Tony, has fled. A case has been lodged against him under IPC sections 285 and 304, and investigation is on.”
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