Fire in paint warehouse in Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh, 1 dead
A 28-year-old man was killed in a fire that broke out in a building that stored paint, thinner and lubricant oil in West Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh on Saturday evening, the police said.
The fire services took nearly four hours to douse the flames, and efforts had to be made to prevent the blaze from spreading to other buildings and causing a disruption in traffic on the adjacent Punjabi Bagh Main Road, said Atul Garg, chief fire officer (Delhi Fire Services).
The police and fire department are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Samir Sharma, additional deputy commissioner of police (west), identified the dead man as Romit Kumar, who worked as an accountant at the godown.
Police said a case of causing death by negligence and of negligent conduct with respect to fire was being registered at the Punjabi Bagh police station.
Garg said a call about the blaze was received around 5pm from the Transport Centre in Punjabi Bagh. “Initially we sent five fire tenders to the spot, but when it turned out to be a godown that stored chemicals and oil, so we sent 21 more fire tenders,” he said.
The officer said firefighters were told that all occupants of the building had left the godown’s premises — a 600 square yard-plot that comprised of a two-storey building.
“When we reached, we found blasts in drums that stored paint, thinner and oil meant for mixing both. There were nearly 10,000 litres of oil stored at the godown,” Garg said.
“There was the threat of all the oil drums bursting and the fire spreading to other buildings,” he added.
“But we deployed the fire tenders on all sides of the building and prevented the fire from spreading. We managed to douse the flames around 8.30pm,” Garg said.
But just as firefighters thought they had contained the damage without any deaths, the brother of an accountant working there approached the officials claiming that Kumar, a resident of other Delhi’s Kirari, was missing and his cellphone was switched off.
“We searched the building for survivors and found the charred body of one man on the first floor,” Garg said.