Just a day after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) sounded alarm bells about flouting of fire safety norms in the Capital, four fire incidents were reported within hours of each other on Friday.
On the second day of the new fiscal, a major fire broke out on the fourth floor of the Income Tax Office building in central Delhi around 11:15 a.m.
Police said the entire floor was gutted seconds after the fire broke out. Seven men performing maintenance work escaped within an inch of their lives. Police said one of them suffered minor burns.
“The seven men were engaged in some wood work on the floor when the fire broke out,” said a senior police
Sixteen fire tenders that had reportedly been dispatched to douse the flames were successful only after an hour’s effort.
“Before fire fighting procedures could commence, the seven labourers stuck in the building had to be evacuated,” the officer said.
According to the police, the exact cause of fire and the extent of damage were yet to be ascertained.
“The investigations are on. Since maintenance work was being undertaken on the floor, it was comparatively empty and potential casualties were averted,” the officer added.
A similar incident had occurred at Mayur Bhawan in Connaught Place in October of 2007.
A major fire had broken out at the building early in the morning, destroying important documents housed by the IT department in the building.
Even as 40 fire tenders were rushed to the scene, income tax returns filed by more than 1.5 lakh taxpayers had gone up in smoke during the 2007 incident.
Paswan’s garage, two cars destroyed
A similar incident of fire was reported from former Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan's central Delhi residence around 3:15 pm.
Police said a short circuit gutted the LJP chief's garage and charred two luxury vehicles, a Honda Accord and an Audi, parked inside within minutes.
“The fire was caused due to a short circuit in a wire hanging above a fibre sheet near the garage’s entrance,” said a senior police officer.
Three fire tenders were reportedly rushed to the spot and the fire was finally doused around 3:45 p.m.
Party officials said Paswan was in Patna. Police haveregistered a case against unknown persons.
Police said a similar incident had occurred at the same house on May 13 last year.
“A short circuit had resulted in fire last year as well and several items including cupboards, antique statues, sofa sets and chairs were destroyed,” the officer added.
Minor fire in saree shop in Karol Bagh
In the third incident, a minor fire broke out in a shop in a congested central Delhi market around 2 p.m.
According to police, the incident was reported from a saree shop on the busy Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh. Eight fire tenders were deployed to douse the flames.
“The reason is suspected to be a short circuit. No one was injured and the value of loss is being ascertained,” an officer said.