Hashmat Khan, 22, is one of the 13 people who died in the fire that gutted a three-storey building in Sahibabad early morning on Friday. He suffered from polio and could not run to save his life when the fire broke out.
Those who survived the fire recalled that Khan was left helpless when fire started spreading.
“All occupants on the second floor were rushing to save their lives. But, Khan was shouting for help saying ‘how do I escape?’. At that moment, none of us could think of saving anyone but ourselves,” Mohsin, one of the survivors who is being treated at GTB Hospital, Delhi, said. Mohsin is from Bulandshahr.
Rescuers found Khan dead on the second floor after the fire was brought under control.
Mohsin said Khan, who is from Hapur, was the sole breadwinner of his family. After losing his father three years ago to medical ailments, he has been taking care of his family despite suffering from polio.
“There were only two members in his family -- his mother and his mentally challenged elder brother. We used to earn Rs 3,500 here and Khan made sure to sent almost all of it back home,” he said.
He said Khan had been saving money for the last two months to visit his village.
“Khan had been saving money to visit home next Friday. In fact, many of us had saved money, which was all burned,” Mohsin said.
Mohsin said Khan was happy that he could work despite his condition.
“Khan told us that he used to beg on the streets in Hapur because no one would give him work. He was very thankful to his employer that he was at least able to earn,” he said.
Police said Hashmat Khan’s body was sent back to his village in Hapur as his family did not have the means to reach Ghaziabad.
“While most of the families who were informed about the incident are reaching Ghaziabad, Hashmat Khan’s family said they will not be able to come. Hence, his body will be sent there,” Anup Singh, circle officer, Sahibabad, said.