Three children of a family, including a one-and-half-month-old girl, were burnt to death and their two siblings and mother suffered critical burns when their one-room house in northwest Delhi caught fire, police said on Monday.
The deceased were identified as Shivani, 10, two-year-old Rajrani, and 45-day-old Dabi. Their other two siblings - five-year-old Devi and three-year-old Deepak and their mother Kamlesh suffered 70-80 per cent burn injuries when their one-room tenement in Shahbad area caught fire late on Sunday.
According to police, the cause of the fire is reported to be a short circuit in the television set.
"All the victims were inside the small room when TV set caught fire due to a short circuit and later the kerosene stove on which food was being cooked also caught fire, leading to the tragedy," a police officer said.
"The fire spread so quickly that the victims were not able to flee and in no time the small room with clothes and many plastic items became a furnace," the police officer added.
The victims were initially rushed to Maharishi Hospital from where they were shifted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital.
The police said Kamlesh's husband Suresh was not at home at the time of accident. Suresh works as a mason and the family belongs to Uttar Pradesh.
"Kamlesh in her statement before a sub-divisional magistrate said that there was a spark in the TV set and then the kerosene stove caught fire and suddenly everything was burning," said a senior police officer.
Sanjay, Kamlesh's neighbour, said that they tried to help, asking the burning children to run out of the house but they were not even able to stand up.
"It was scary to see them, we kept splashing water but we could not save them," Sanjay said.
The police said they have registered a case and are investigating the accident.