A fire broke out at a high-rise building in Netaji Subhash Place market on Sunday evening which quickly spread downwards to three floors.
No injury or casualty was reported till Sunday evening, when fire personnel continued trying to douse the fire.
The fire was reported at around 4.25 pm when a security guard spotted smoke billowing from the 13-floor building’s terrace. Eyewitnesses told police that within minutes, the fire spread downwards to the three floors. Twenty-five fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
Locals said most offices and shops in the thirteen-storey Pearl Business Park building were closed on Sunday.
Parked cars hinder rescue
Fire officials said though they reached the spot within minutes of getting the complaint, the large number of cars parked on the road prevented them from entering the building. The fire officials could not park their vehicles for at least half an hour. Deputy chief fire officer Atul Garg said, “There was no space to park our vehicle. Initially we could not even drive to the building because there were many cars parked on the road outside. Later, the local police helped us remove the vehicles.”
Garg said only a few offices were open inside the building. “The offices were mostly in the lower floors. There was no fire (there), but they evacuated the building themselves.”
“There were some calls centres open on Sunday. Though there was no danger in the lower floors, as a precaution we asked them to evacuate. The fire had started at a high-rise building. We had to use two hydraulic cranes. We are working on it. We do not have any information of anyone trapped inside,” said a fire official.
Building firefighting system fails
As images of the building with its top floors ablaze flashed on news channels, the fire officers at the spot learnt that the building’s fire-fighting system was not working. “Yes, it looks like the in-house fire fighting system did not work. We had to use water from the other buildings in the area. This is not to say that we did not have water with us,” said Garg.
Outside the building, curious onlookers, many who had come to the market on Sunday, stopped to click photographs. These pictures were later uploaded on social networking sites. The local police had to assist the fire personnel to force the onlookers to leave the spot.
Fire officials suspected that short-circuit in an air conditioner triggered the fire. Officer Garg said the fire was under control. “It is too early to comment on the source of the fire. We are taking statement from eyewitnesses and will conduct our inquiry.”
A fire broke out in a three-storey coaching institute on Sunday morning in Dwarka’s Sector 3 where 200 students were taking an online exam.
At 10.40 am, the electrical meter box on the ground floor next to the staircase caught fire. Students panicked as they saw smoke billowing from the ground floor. The students were trapped in the building, said police, who were informed by some of the students.
Civil defence commandant Vinod Bharadwaj who was at the spot, said, “The only entry to the building was a small stair, next to which a fire had started. There were students in the first, second and the third floor. Because of the smoke and the fire, they could not come down.”
Bharadwaj said civil defence personnel, policemen and some students rescued the students through a path behind the building. “We identified a small spiral staircase which was not in use. We broke open the door leading to the spiral staircase and helped everyone leave the building. Except a few students who suffered scratches, no one was seriously injured in the fire,” said Bharadwaj.
Passersby and the students said the window panes in the building had to be broken to diffuse the thick smoke that filled the rooms.