Four of family die in house fire in Delhi



NEW DELHI: Four members of a family died on Tuesday after a fire broke out on the third floor of a building in East Delhi’s Old Seemapuri area, officials said.

The incident took place when the victims were asleep, they said.

The deceased have been identified as Horilal (59), his wife Reena (55), their son Ashu (24) and daughter Rohini (18).

The family members were sleeping on the third floor of the house, while their 22-year-old son Akshay had a narrow escape as he was sleeping on the second floor, they said.

A call about the fire was received at around 4 am and four fire tenders with 16 fire-fighters were rushed to the spot, said Atul Garg, director, Delhi Fire Services.

Domestic articles in a room on the third floor of the house caught fire, resulting in the death of four people.

The victims were found dead on the spot.

The building comprised ground plus three floors and situated in an area of about 25 square yards, he said, adding that it was a minor fire.

The fire officer, however, has ruled out any incident of short-circuit and based on their preliminary inquiry, they suspect that either a mosquito coil or an ‘agarbatti’ (incense stick) kept in the room could have sparked the fire which spread to the clothes kept on the table and later to the curtains.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahadra) R Sathiyasundaram said, “Our police team and Delhi Fire Services staff reached the spot immediately and the fire was brought under control. The crime team, officials from Forensic Science Laboratory and other senior officials also visited the scene of incidence.”

Police said the fire might have broke out and spread across the third floor of the building.

The victims did sustain burn injuries and might have died due to suffocation after inhaling smoke, but only the post-mortem report will be able to ascertain the exact cause of death and ascertain the extent of burn injuries.

Akshay, the only surviving member of the family, works as a labourer in Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh.

He had come home post midnight after work.

He went to the third floor to get food and later slept on the second floor.

He survived since the fire did not spread from the third floor of the building, police said.

Recalling last night, he said, “Around 4 am, I heard my neighbours screaming my mother’s name. When I came out, they said that the glass of the window of third floor, where my four family members were sleeping, was broken and smoke was coming out of it. I was on the second floor and went upstairs, but there was heavy smoke. I came downstairs and again went up with neighbours to check on them.

“The window glass was broken, and there were signs of struggle on the main gate as my brother tried to open it. Later, police and fire brigade were informed about the incident,” he said with grief.

Horilal was working as a peon in Shastri Bhawan, Delhi and was due to retire in March 2022.

His wife worked as a sweeper in MCD.

His daughter was a class 12 student at a government school while his son was unemployed, they said.

All the bodies have been shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur hospital mortuary for post-mortem, they said.

A case has been registered under IPC section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house) and 304A (causing death by negligence), the DCP said.

The second and third floors were owned by the deceased”s family, while rest of the floors was occupied by other families, police said.

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