Nearly 90 specially-abled students of a rehabilitation centre in Ghaziabad’s Indirpauram had a narrow escape due to timely action by fire officials after a blaze broke out at an electrical panel of the building on Friday noon.
The centre named Well Being is located at Gyan Khand I.
Fire department officials got a call from school authorities just when the electricity panel on the ground floor caught, causing panic among students and the centre’s staff.
“It was a major rescue effort by more than 20 firemen and officials who had to rush inside the building and rescue children as they could not move on their own. They were picked up by firemen and taken out amid fire and thick smoke that engulfed the building. It was due to their efforts that no untoward incident happened and all children were safely rescued from different floors,” said Ajay Sharma, fire safety officer, Vaishali.
The building has a basement, a ground floor and two upper floors where the children were either attending classes or engaged in activities. The officials said that more than a dozen children trapped in the upper floors were shifted to the roofs of adjacent buildings.
“Other children were picked up and rushed from the main gate. In all, nearly 90 children were rescued this way. The fire blocked the staircase to the upper floors,” Sharma added. Police officials said that the grilles on the upper floor were removed to evacuate the children.
“Thick smoke came out as the electricity cables got burnt. Smoke engulfed the entire floors when the children and staff were inside,” said Anil Kumar Yadav, circle officer (Indirapuram).
Officials of the rehab centre said they had fire fighting equipment like fire extinguishers that are refilled and checked as per norms.
“A total of 90 children were present when the fire took place. We tried to control the fire with fire extinguishers and fire department officials also arrived in a timely manner,” said Dr Rita Vatsa, the principal.