As many as 30 people were rescued by firefighters after a major fire broke out at Vishal Bhawan in Nehru Place on Thursday afternoon. Fire officials said the rescue operation took about one and a half hours and that no one was injured in the incident. Those trapped in the fire had to be rescued from the fifth floor of the building by hydraulic lifts fitted in fire trucks. Senior officers said the building had not received clearance from the fire department.
Atul Garg, chief fire officer, Delhi Fire Services, said they received a call around 11.55am about a fire on the fifth floor of the commercial building which houses mainly offices and computer repairing shops. “The fire was on the fifth floor. It had started in the office of a gas company. We rushed 24 fire tenders to contain the fire. A snorkel van (fire truck with hydraulic lift) was also rushed in as it was reported that at least 30-32 people were trapped inside the building,” Garg said.
The officer said that when fire officials entered the building, they found the fire had not spread across other floors, but the excess smoke had trapped people inside. “We set up the ladder and everyone who was in the building was brought down. The rescue was completed by 1.30pm,” Garg said.
Garg reiterated the building did not have a no objection certificate (NOC) from Delhi Fire Services. “The building also has some shortcomings. We are in the process of listing them out. We are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire,” Garg added.
Fire officers said that the building houses more than 50 offices which belong to different owners.
Eyewitnesses said that there was panic among those who were trapped on the fifth floor. Raj Kumar, who owns a mobile accessories and repairing shop on the ground floor of the building, said one man looked like he was planning to jump off the fifth floor.
“He took off his shirt and waved it at people standing downstairs. That was when the fire tenders arrived. We told him to hold on. Within minutes the firefighters set up the ladder and rescued him,” Kumar said.
May 24, 2019 01:05 IST
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