Fire breaks out at The Grand | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Fire breaks out at The Grand

A fire broke out in the kitchen of The Grand - the five-star hotel in Vasant Kunj and all 225 guests were evacuated from the hotel, reports Vijaita Singh.

delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2008 00:21 IST
Vijaita Singh

A fire broke out in the kitchen of The Grand- the five-star hotel in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj at 12.55 pm on Saturday. It spread rapidly and almost engulfed the entire building, endangering the lives of scores of guests.

This, just because the staff was not trained to handle such emergencies, fire officials said.

All 225 guests were evacuated from The Grand in Vasant Kunj, but a fireman was injured when a burning wooden shaft fell on him. It took three hours and about 35 fire tenders to bring the blaze under control.

Delhi’s Chief Fire Officer RC Sharma blamed hotel officials for the delay. “We could have brought the fire under control earlier if we were told then and there that the staff wasn’t trained to firefight.” The fire-fighting equipment were all in place.

The 390-room hotel in Vasant Kunj was built in 2000. “There was a fire reported from the kitchen in the basement. We evacuated all the guests safely and there were no casualties. The fire was brought under control,” said Ray McCain, manager of the hotel.

Smoke billowed from the building as firemen broke windows to rescue the guests. Skylifts were employed to evacuate people from the upper floors as the blaze, fed by wooden panels, and carpets spread to other parts of the building. About 140 firemen battled the blaze and rescued the guests.

“I was sitting in the lobby. We were not told about the fire. There were people running around, and when we came out of the hotel we realised there was a fire,” said Nalin Tokas, a businessman.

Guests were moved to other hotels in the city and officials said they did not know when Grand would reopen.