Three women died after a fire broke out in a four-storey building in North West Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh Saturday evening. In the incident, which took place around 6 pm, four people, including two teenagers, were injured.
Delhi Fire Service (DFS) director Atul Garg said, “The fire started from the ground floor kitchen, which is above the stilt parking. The house on the ground floor was locked and there was no one inside. The house is gutted, and the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.”
While a DFS official said it is likely that someone left the cooking gas on in the ground floor kitchen, DCP (Outer North) Gaurav Sharma said “it could be a short circuit, but it’s yet to be confirmed.”
DFS received a call at 6.05 pm about the fire, following which eight fire tenders and 50 firefighters were deployed to douse the fire. The victims have been identified as Kanta (75), Kiran Sharma (65) and Somvati (42). The injured are Lajwanti (68), Inna (28), Akshit (16) and Vanshika (14).
Police said the three women died after inhaling the smoke. A Fortis hospital spokesperson said, “The four injured people are in the ICU and are in a critical state. Efforts are on to stabilise them.”
Sharma said, “Around 6.10 pm, information about the fire was received and police officers rushed to the spot. Personnel from other police stations, too, reached the spot and SHO Shalimar Bagh, along with other personnel, accessed the building by jumping onto the terrace from an adjacent building.”
A senior police officer said that fire tenders reached the spot within minutes, and that at least seven people were removed from the building. “The 75-year-old victim lived alone on the first floor. The third-floor occupants— Lajwanti and two children — hid in the bathroom and kept splashing water on themselves and survived the fire. Two women from the top floor who were pulled out didn’t survive. All victims died because of the smoke.”
Police said an FIR under IPC sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire) and 304A (causing death by negligence) will be registered against unknown persons at Shalimar Bagh police station. Two police personnel were also injured during the rescue operation, which took around two hours.