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Firefighters rescue six women, one child from fire at Okhla building

Atul Garg, chief fire officer (Delhi Fire Services) said that three cars and six two-wheelers were gutted. The building’s lift system was damaged and dense smoke engulfed four floors .

delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2019 07:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Okhla building,Fire
Three cars and six two-wheelers were gutted in the fire that started in the basement. (Burhaan Kinu/HT)

At least seven people were rescued from a blaze that broke out at the parking lot of a six-storey building in south Delhi’s Abul Fazal Enclave in the early hours of Wednesday.

Atul Garg, chief fire officer (Delhi Fire Services) said that three cars and six two-wheelers were gutted. The building’s lift system was damaged and dense smoke engulfed four floors .

Fire officers said that around 20 men managed to jump from the roof to an adjoining building while six women and a child were rescued. “No one was injured in the blaze,” said Garg.

The blaze came months after a similar fire in a four-storey building in the same neighbourhood had left two cousins — aged 6 and 7 — dead on March 26.

On Wednesday, the fire was first noticed 3.30am, said Garg, adding that a short-circuit in an electric meter in the parking lot of the ground floor might have triggered it.

Adil Qureshi, a local resident, the flames spread after a cot caught fire. “The 27 residents of the building learnt of the fire only after the three cars, four motorcycles and two scooters in the parking lot went up in flames,” said Qureshi.

“Since the flames had reached the lower two floors of the building and engulfed four more in smoke, the occupants couldn’t escape through the only staircase. The people then ran to the terrace and started screaming for help,” said Qureshi.

Mehmood, an assistant divisional officer with the Delhi Fire Services, said that when he arrived at the scene with his team, most of the people had already jumped to the neighbouring building. “But six women and a 10-year-old child weren’t able to make the six-foot jump,” said Mehmood. “The trapped people were shouting for help from the balcony and the terrace. Some women wanted to jump from the sixth floor balcony, but we urged them not to.”

The department used a 35 feet tall ladder, mounted on a vehicle, for the rescue effort. “Some trapped people were tied with safety belts to the ladder and lowered. A couple of them had to be fastened to a special chair before being rescued,” said Mehmood.

Though, Abul Fazal Enclave mostly comprises of congested lanes, the fire fighters were lucky to find that the burning structure was the second building in a lane. “That helped us quickly start the rescue operation,” Garg said.

First Published: Jun 20, 2019 04:00 IST