A fire broke out on the sixth floor of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) building at Shahdara district’s Karkardooma Friday afternoon.
The blaze started around 1.50 pm and raged till early evening, as the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) attempted to douse it. Several records pertaining to the nursing home cell, DAK/DAN scheme, and Delhi Government Employee Health Scheme (DGEHS) are believed to have been lost as the fire soon spread over to the fifth and seventh floors.
The DFS deployed 27 fire tenders and at least 60 firefighters to contain the blaze. No casualties were reported.
“The blaze started on the sixth floor after a suspected short-circuit in an AC. It soon spread to the fifth and seventh floors. While some firemen used stairs inside the building to reach the sixth floor, others used ladders and a hydraulic platform. The sixth and seventh floors are gutted. It took us over three hours to douse the fire and begin cooling operations,” said deputy fire chief Atul Garg.
Over 200 employees vacated the premises when one of them sensed smoke coming out of a room on the sixth floor, said a DGHS employee. Fireman Laxmi Kumar said the sheer amount of paper and files inside the office proved to be the biggest challenge during the operation.
“The files and papers released a lot of smoke, which got trapped inside the building. We had to break several windows for the smoke to escape. All laptops, furniture and files were gutted when we reached the spot,” he said.
The Director General of Health Services had recently issued a notice to around 1,400 nursing home cells to comply with fire safety norms. “We will assess the records in the next few days to identify what files have got destroyed in the incident,” said Dr Ashok Rana, DGHS, Delhi government.
Once the DFS procured the map of the building, 30 firemen got in from the main entrance, and others through the back entrance. “It’s a congested building, the stairs were enveloped in smoke which made it difficult for the firemen to reach the impacted floors. It took more than an hour for the cooling operation, where water hoses from three fire tenders and one hydraulic platform were used to bring down the temperature of the office,” said Garg.