70 shanties in Nathupur gutted in fire, 350 lose home and savings
At least 70 shanties were gutted as a fire broke out in slums of Nathupur village in DLF Phase-3 on Monday morning, leaving at least 350 people homeless.
No loss of life was reported as 13 fire tenders from five fire stations were pressed into service, said fire department officials. Three warehouses, which had an inventory of scrap material, were burnt. Additionally, the rear boundary wall of an elementary school, which catered to the children of the shanties, was also engulfed in flames.
Fire department officials said that the incident took place around 9.45 am, but the fire was controlled within two hours before it could spread to over 250 shanties adjacent to the area.
I S Kashyap, additional divisional fire safety officer, said the fire was probably caused due to gas leakage from a LPG cylinder in one of the shanties, adding that the source of the fire in the shanties was not known.
“Around 10.15 am, a distress call was received from the village. As many as 13 fire tenders, including five from Sector 29 fire station, two each from Udyog Vihar, Sector 37, Bhim Nagar and DLF fire stations, were rushed to the spot. No persons were injured. However, at least 70 shanties were completely burnt,” said Kashyap.
A fire safety official, requesting anonymity, said the fire started from the middle of a block of shanties before spreading east, carried forward by the wind. It was controlled before it could spread to the elementary school and a temple.
Police officials said that the victims, mostly migrants working as house helps in Sikanderpur and DLF phases 1 and 2, were at work when the fire broke out. “The fire spread after multiple mini LPG cylinders, used for cooking in the shanties, burst,” said the fire safety official cited above. The incident comes over 40 days after a fire in the same village, about 500 metres from the spot, had gutted 30 shanties. On January 24, some children had attempted to light hay on fire, which had later spread, causing a series of explosions of LPG cylinders.
Jitender Kumar, sub divisional magistrate, said that the revenue department officials had been directed to make an assessment of the damage. The police said that the shanties had been rented out by four contractors. Ram Kumar, station house officer, DLF Phase-3 police station, said that the police did not receive any complaint of negligence against the alleged contractors of the shanties.