Four of a family, including a seven-year-old boy, died after a major fire broke out at their residence in northeast Delhi’s Dilshad Garden area Tuesday morning. Police said six people were trapped inside the house when the fire broke out at about 5.30 am.
The dead were identified as Pradeep Jaiswal (59), his son Rajan (34), daughter-in-law Anuja (33) and grandson Anshul (7), said police. Pradeep’s wife Saroj and daughter Shailaja survived with minor injuries. The family runs a dry-cleaning business.
Police said they got a call from a truck driver who was passing through the area. “Prima facie, it appears the fire was caused by a short circuit. However, we are looking into the matter,” said DCP (northeast) A K Singla.
A case has been registered under sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others).
According to a fire department official, seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot. “It took close to an hour to douse the flames,” he said. All six were rushed to the GTB hospital and four were declared dead on arrival.
Saroj’s brother, Rajkumar Jaiswal, said the family was going to move to a newly-constructed house on February 22, Anshul’s birthday. “They had fixed an auspicious date to move. The house was an extension to the place they were staying in now,” he said, adding that he rushed to the spot on hearing the news and found his sister and niece crying but unhurt.
Saroj said when the fire broke out everyone panicked. “My grandson rushed to the bathroom to escape the flames and his parents rushed behind him and got trapped,” she said, adding that her husband tried to free the dog. “When we all were rushing outside, Pradeep went to the other side of the house to let the dog out and he was also trapped,” she said.
Police said all four died due to asphyxiation after which their bodies caught fire.
A relative said, “Pradeep’s daughter studies in Class X. Everyone would wake up early to get the children ready for school. But Shailaja was not going to school that day as she had a fever. So they were all asleep.”
Rajkumar said before the fire tender reached the spot, residents tried to break the gate of the residence. “One of truck drivers helped Saroj and Shailaja out of the house. Some people found a pipe and connected it to the borewell of the adjoining park to try and douse the flames.”
The family lived behind one of the dry cleaning shops. Rajkumar said, “They had been running Bobby Dry Cleaning for the past 25 years. Now the entire shop is charred.”