Over 200 people were evacuated from a four-storey building in West Delhi’s Janakpuri Tuesday afternoon, after a fire broke out in the electricity meters on the ground floor. Three coaching centres function out of three floors of the building, and over 140 students were among those evacuated, said Bhupender Prakash, the Hari Nagar fire station officer.
“A call was received at 11.49 am. Three fire tenders and at least 20 firefighters were deployed to douse it. Prima facie, it appears to be a case of short circuit. The electric meters, panels and cables on the ground floor caught fire,” said Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg.
Garg said the basement was empty, the ground floor has stilt parking and the electricity meters, a State Bank of India (SBI) office on the upper-ground floor, and Aakash Institute, Vidyamandir classes and Bansal NEET-JEE academy on the first, second and third floors, respectively.
Prakash said, “The fire was doused soon after the fire tenders arrived. It did not reach any floor, but the smoke travelled, and a quick evacuation was done. The building, too, was inspected after that.” He said that at the time of the incident, at least 30 staffers and 10-15 customers were present at the SBI office, five employees at Aakash Institute, 140 students and 15 staffers at Vidyamandir and five employees at the Bansal academy.
Garg said the building did not need a fire NOC “as it is less than 15 metres high”.
The Delhi High Court had Monday pulled up a power company for providing electricity to coaching centres in the Mukherjee Nagar area without any fire safety clearance and observed that discoms and its officers were “turning a blind eye” to the problem, which could result in a fire like in Surat, where 22 people had died in May.