A 90-year-old bed-ridden man died of asphyxia in Vatika City society on Sohna road, Gurgaon after the flat he lived in caught fire during Navratri prayers on Monday morning.
Identified as Phool Singh Kataria, the deceased is relative of former Haryana sports minister Sukhbir Singh Kataria.
Police said that the store-cum-prayer room in the flat on the second floor caught fire during the prayers organised by the family of three at 5 am.
The flames that erupted from the fire lamp engulfed the room which was also used for storing clothes and books filling the flat with smoke.
Police said that the deceased, lying on bed in another room, fell ill due to asphyxia and was rushed to nearby Park hospital where he died. He did not suffer any burns, though.
The fire headquarter in Sector 29 got a call at 5.42 am and one fire tender was rushed to the spot from Bheem Nagar. After another call for more fire tenders at 6.10 am two fire tenders and a team of fire fighters led by fire safety officer IS Kashyap rushed to the site. By 6.30 am the fire was doused, police said.
“There were no injuries. He died due to asphyxia. He is relative of former sports minister Sukhbir Kataria,” said Vijay Kumar, SHO Sadar police station.
Eyewitnesses said when the neighbours saw flames coming out of the flat, security guards were called in, who succeeded in rescuing the deceased’s son Harjit Kataria and daughter-in-law.
But, they could not spot the bed-ridden senior citizen perhaps because of smoke. “The senior citizen man could not be spotted by the guards as the flat was engulfed with smoke. The fire was brought under control by 6.30 am,” said a fire department official.