Five members of a family, including three children, were choked to death after their house caught fire on Monday night at Chaman Colony area of Ghaziabad. Police said a couple and their three children, aged between 2 and 7 years, died of asphyxia after the fire broke out in the room.
The police said the family was unable to escape in time. "The fire probably started after an electric short-circuit in one of the rooms while the family was sleeping inside the other room and could not get out," senior superintendent of police (SSP) Raghubir Lal said.
Mohammad Shahid (35), his wife Nagina Begum (32) and their three children, Neha, Aaliya and two-year-old son Ayan, died in the accident. Mohammad Zahid, the victim's brother, said, "It was late at night when we heard my brother's family shouting for help. Their house was on fire and covered with thick fumes."
"With the help of some locals we tried to enter the house and save them but all our efforts proved futile. We later managed to bring them out by using ladders to climb the roof," he added.
The victims were rushed to MMG Hospital but all of them were declared dead on arrival. The local administration has said an inquiry would be conducted into the incident and the victim's kin would be given compensation. The SSP said the fire possibly occurred after an electric short-circuit.
The family of the victims have refused to get post-mortem examination of the dead. "When everything is lost, there is no need to conduct their post-mortem. We will cremate them," Zahid said.