An elderly couple suffocated to death after a fire broke out at their home in Noida’s Sector 29 Friday night, with police suspecting a short circuit sparked the blaze. Brigadier RP Singh (retd), 84, and his wife Malti Singh, 78, lived on the first floor of a bungalow at Vijayant Enclave, an area for veterans of the armed forces. The couple are survived by four children.
A PCR van rushed to the spot after getting a call about a fire and helped break open the door to the house. Rakesh Kumar Singh, SHO of Noida’s Sector 20 police station, said, “We arrived at 8 pm and tried to open the locked door… and found the two lying unconscious. There was a lot of smoke. Without waiting for an ambulance, we took them to Kailash Hospital in Sector 27. There was a short circuit, which set off the blaze.”
They were declared dead on arrival at 9.10 pm, said hospital spokesperson V B Joshi. The family claimed the bodies on Saturday and carried out the cremation in the afternoon.
Fire service officer Sanjeev Kumar Singh said, “By the time we reached at 8 pm, the two victims had already been taken to the hospital. The fire broke out due to a short circuit in one of the rooms; it was largely confined to this room, the other rooms were damaged due to the heat.”
The couple’s youngest daughter, Kiran Sharma (49), a marketing professional working in Noida, lives in the same colony with her family. She said: “Around 8 pm, I tried to call my mother on her mobile but could not get through… Then the guard checked and told us that smoke was coming out of their house.”
Kiran’s husband Vikas Sharma (53), who runs an advertising agency, said, “We ran to the flat, but the iron-steel doors were locked from the inside. A few of us tried to open it… we then managed to open the second entrance at the back. We couldn’t see anything because of the smoke… the fire was raging inside the two rooms by then.”
The family found the couple near the front door. Kiran said, “Maybe my mother was trying to open the door, but she must have collapsed…”
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