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Fire breaks out at house in Sadar Bazar, 2 girls killed | Latest News Delhi


A fire broke out on the first floor of a residential building in north Delhi’s Sadar Bazar on Tuesday afternoon, fire officials and police officers aware of the matter said, adding that two girls — sisters who had locked themselves in a bathroom, ostensibly to escape the blaze — died of asphyxiation.

The fire broke out on the first floor of the house. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Deputy commissioner of police (north) Manoj Kumar Meena said the deceased were identified as Anaya, 12, and Gulashna, 14, residents of Chamelian Road. Police said the sisters’ father Haji Saalim Shabbu is a businessman who was in Lucknow at the time of the incident, while their mother and two younger brothers — the police did not share their names — were on a different floor of the house at the time of the blaze, and were successfully rescued.

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Meena said the police control room received a call about the fire at 2.30pm. “Police teams from the Sadar Bazar police station reached the spot,” he said.

Delhi Fire Service director Atul Garg said four fire tenders were pressed into service. “It is suspected that there was a short circuit in the air conditioner at a recreational room on the first floor that led to the fire,” he said.

A fire official who took part in rescue operations said that the building is centrally air conditioned. “The fire is suspected to have spread because a mini theatre was installed with soundproof foam and other inflammable materials,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

“The girls were on the first floor of the building and the house help were on the ground floor. When the fire broke out on the first floor, the girls couldn’t escape and the helps couldn’t go upstairs as the staircase was filled with smoke,” the officer said, also requesting anonymity.

“It is suspected that the girls entered the bathroom and shut the door to escape the flames. They were found unconscious in the bathroom,” the officer said, adding that they were rushed to a hospital close by where they were declared brought dead.

Meanwhile, Khalid Qureshi, a neighbour, claimed that the fire tenders arrived at the spot after over an hour. “When the fire helpline 101 was called, no one picked up. Someone went to the nearest fire station, and one fire tender arrived, but without gas masks and barely any water. Finally, after an hour and a half, fire tenders arrived,” he said.

Garg, however, dismissed the allegations. “The first call was received at the fire control room at 2.07pm, after which one fire tender was pressed into service. At 2:23pm, officials present at the spot asked the control room to send more fire tenders, after which three more were sent by 2:31pm,” Garg said.



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