At least 200 jhuggis gutted, hundreds left homeless in Kirti Nagar fire - Hindustan Times
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At least 200 jhuggis gutted, hundreds left homeless in Kirti Nagar fire

May 22, 2020 10:30 PM IST

New Delhi: At least 200 shanties were gutted after a fire broke out in the Chuna Bhatti slum cluster in west Delhi’s Kirti Nagar on Thursday night. While no casualties were reported in the incident, hundreds were left homeless, officials of the fire department said.

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According to the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), they received a call reporting the fire around 11.30pm on Thursday. DFS director Atul Garg said they rushed 10 fire tenders to control the blaze.

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“Because the fire was spreading fast, we pressed in more tenders. The final count of tenders used touched 30. At least 100 of our firefighters struggled for over four hours to control the fire, which could only be contained by 3.30am. The process of cooling the spot was on till morning,” Garg said.

Nearly 200 shanties and slums were destroyed in the fire, as per the fire department’s estimates. We are yet to ascertain the cause behind the blaze, Garg said.

The colony is beside the Kirti Nagar railway station, with several industrial units in its vicinity.

Gokul Kumar, a resident of the slum cluster said the spark erupted from a nearby factory unit around 11.15pm, and spread to the entire neighbourhood within minutes, leaving residents no time to save their belongings. While some of the residents tried to douse the blaze till the fire tenders arrived, the situation was beyond their control.

“We could either save ourselves or our belongings. Many people in this colony are already having a tough time financially because of the pandemic, many have lost their jobs and families are struggling to survive. This fire has just added to our miseries,” Kumar said.

Sumukhi Sengupta, who works with the NGO Jagruk, said at least 150 residents of the cluster have lost their homes. Most residents were moved to government shelters on Friday.

“We have been helping residents collect whatever is left of their belongings. There is nothing left of some houses,” Sengupta said.

Last year in January, a fire in the slum cluster had gutted 100 shanties.

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