Five members of a family, including two children, were charred to death in a lift after a fire broke out in a Nagpur building past midnight on Thursday.
The Siriya family, who stayed on the first floor of Ajinkya Plaza building in Gokulpeth, were informed of the fire in the building’s parking lot by their security guard, Lakhiram, following which they decided to escape using the lift.
The head of the family, Prashant Siriya (33), reportedly didn’t take the lift to avoid overcrowding it and instead jumped out of his apartment’s window. He was the only survivor from his family.
By the time the rest of the members his family were in the lift, the fire had spread from the parking lot into the lobby. As they reached the ground floor, the doors of the lift malfunctioned and they were burnt alive.
The deceased were identified as Prashant’s wife Ragini Siriya (32), son Nirosh (3), mother Salila (65), sister Shruti Mali (30), and her daughter Shahana (2).
All the other residents of the building were evacuated safely with the help of the fire brigade.
The fire was suspected to have been sparked by a two-wheeler. Fire personnel, however, didn’t confirm this.
Officials were unable to confirm why the family had used the lift, or why the lift doors malfunctioned when it reached the ground floor. Deputy Commissioner of Police Avinash Kumar said, “All these issues are under investigation. The survivor is in a state of shock and we haven’t asked him any questions yet”.