‘Duty beckons, don’t wait for me,’ he said

  • Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2014 11:27 IST

“Duty beckons, don’t wait up for me” were the last words Ravinder Singh spoke to his wife Savita as he rushed from his home in Dadumajra on Sunday evening. Ravinder Singh, 48A firefighter posted at the 3BRD Air Force Station, Ravinder, 48, lost his life while attempting to douse the flames that had engulfed the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology building in Sector 17 late on Sunday evening.

Heart rending scenes were seen at the colony on Monday as the deceased’s family members along with all the residents came together to perform his last rites.

The lone breadwinner in his family, Ravinder put his life in grave danger to avert any loss of lives in the fire. Even though he was off duty on Sunday he rushed to the scene of the blaze immediately after he received a call from his bosses at about 7:30pm. “I tried to stop him and even argued with him that why was he going for duty on his off. He told me that duty comes first and asked me not to wait for him as the fire was massive and he will take time,” said a tearful Savita, trying to come to terms with her irreparable loss. She lost consciousness a couple of times on the way to the cremation ground.

Ravinder is survived by his mother, wife and three children. While his eldest son Dheeraj works as a taxi driver m his daughter Manisha and youngest son Vishal are in school. The latter, a class 9 student, could not come for the cremation as he was away in Goa for a boxing championship.


Another firefighter, Amandeep Sidhu, 28, a native of Dabwali who was posted at the Chandigarh fire station, was also killed while trying to put out the fire. Soon after the postmortem examination his family took his body to his hometown for his cremation. Amandeep had recently gotten engaged to a girl and they had planned to marry in September. His fiancée’s world came crashing down after she learnt about his tragic death.

Sachin, a colleague, said Amandeep was the shift leader for the operation. “He was an experienced fireman and continuously kept warning others that the building could come down any moment. He was climbing the hydraulic ladder to the first floor when the building collapsed and he got trapped inside. ”

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