As the fire raged for six hours across four floors inside a building at AIIMS on Saturday, 200 fire fighters and 40 fire tenders got to work to control the blaze and carry out rescue operations.
DFS Director Vipin Kental said a two-fold approach was adopted — a set of fire fighters doused the flames from outside, while another 40 firemen entered the building, climbed the stairs and checked every room starting from the second floor.
A senior fire official said the fifth floor bore the brunt of the blaze. With infrastructure being modernised to create rooms for doctors, the official said smoke filled up the floor as there was barely any ventilation.
Officials said reaching the terrace through the staircase was also a challenge due to the smoke. National Disaster Response Force commandant P K Srivastava said his team, along with fire officials, had to use oxygen cylinders to get past the smoke-filled staircase and reach the rooftop to create an outlet for the smoke.
Rajinder Atwal, Additional Divisional Officer, DFS, said doors and windows were also broken using hammers to create ventilation.
The surgery and urology offices on the fifth floor were also affected due to the fire. Some faculty rooms and offices were also gutted.
A fire official said, “As it was a Saturday, there were not many students inside the building when the fire broke out… as a result, everyone was evacuated swiftly and there was no casualty.”
Patients and staff in nearby buildings were also evacuated as a precautionary measure. For this, fire officials adopted ‘horizontal evacuation’ — people are first moved to a safer area on the same floor and then brought down.