A couple and their toddler son died in southwest Delhi’s Chhawla area in the early hours of Sunday when a suspected short-circuit started a fire inside their flat. The 35-year-old property dealer and his family, police said, may have died of asphyxiation while sleeping in the same room. They had kept an electric heater on, police said.
The fire services got a call at around 1:45 am from Qutub Vihar phase II from Noor Mohammad, who reported that a fire was blazing in the ground-floor flat of his building. His brother-in-law, Abdul Rehman, his wife Shabana Parveen, 30 and their son Faizal were trapped in the flat, he said.
Noor later told Newsline said the main wires were letting off sparks outside the house. Neighbours could not locate the main switch so they used a wooden stick to snap the wire and disconnected the current. They then broke open the door to the ground floor flat. “I saw Abdul on the bed and his wife and child on the floor. The room was full of smoke,” Noor said.
Neighbours rushed the three to a hospital nearby and then took them to Safdarjung Hospital, where Abdul and Shabana were declared brought dead.
Police said they were waiting for the post-mortem reports but, prima facie, the couple choked to death on the smoke in the room. The child, police said, died at around 8 am.