A 56-year-old woman died of asphyxia and two firemen were injured during rescue operations after a blaze engulfed a ground-floor home in south Delhi on Sunday afternoon, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said.
According to the officials, the incident was reported around 3pm from the B-block home of Sushila Puri in Lajpat Nagar Part I.
“The house, a three-storey building, also serves as a warehouse of sorts for car accessories, which caught fire. The blaze was probably triggered by a short circuit in the wiring,” said a senior DFS official.
Puri and her domestic help, Sunita Ahuja, were in the house when the blaze erupted, DFS officials said. A pall of smoke engulfed the building, the officials said, adding that the fire was being fuelled by the mostly plastic-based accessories in the building.
Puri’s neighbours alerted police about the incident, who in turn informed the fire officials. Nine tenders were sent to the spot.
“By the time we reached the spot, the street was swarming with residents who, instead of allowing us to fight the fire, blocked our path,” the DFS official claimed.
“Station Officer Om Prakash and Fire Operator Sonu fell two storeys. They suffered only minor injuries,” the official added.
Puri and Ahuja were taken to the adjacent Moolchand Hospital where Sushila was declared dead.
Doctors attributed her death to asphyxiation. Ahuja was discharged after being administered first aid.