Seven months old among four die in Shahdara blaze

| | New Delhi
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Seven months old among four die in Shahdara blaze

Sunday, 28 January 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Four people, including a seven-month-old girl, died of suffocation when a major fire broke out in a residential building in northeast Delhi’s Shahdara area, police said on Saturday.  The deceased were identified as Gauri Soni (40), her son Pratham Soni (17), Rachna (28) and her seven-month-old daughter Ruhi, they said.

Rachana’s husband Vinod said that he works at a shoes printing factory and was at his workplace when the incident took place on Friday.   “I usually come home around 9 pm. But on Friday I came early around 6 pm and saw that fire broke out in our building. I did not get any call from anyone. My wife and daughter were taken to the hospital,” Vinod said.

“I later rushed to the hospital and found that they both were declared dead. We live on the second floor of the building on rent for the last two years. I lost two most loving persons of my life,” he added.  Vinod further said that Ruhi was about to turn one on June 7.

Ruhi was his adopted daughter. They adopted the girl from the daughter of Rachana’s uncle.   Rachana’s brother Karan Kumar said that there is a godown on the ground of the building where they had stored rubber of the wiper.  “A party was going on the ground floor of the building. I received a call in the evening about the incident. The investigation into the matter will lead to ascertain the cause of the incident. When the fire broke out, nobody called my brother-in-law Vinod about the incident. The owner fled from the building leaving his wife behind,” Karan said.

There was another family on the third floor of the building where a woman and her son died in the incident, he added.  Gauri and her son Pratham also lost their lives in the incident, while her daughter survived.

 Yogesh Soni, the brother-in-law of Gauri, said, “There was a warehouse of wipers’ rubber on the ground floor. We heard that someone left a cigarette after smoking and the wipers’ foam caught the fire. However, the actual reason will be ascertained after the probe.”

“My sister-in-law, nephew and niece were on the third floor. Among them, my sister-in-law and nephew have expired and my niece has survived. As far as it appears that they have died due to suffocation. They did not get time to go out and died on the stairs,” Yogesh said.

Yogesh said that his brother and Gauri’s husband Ashutosh Soni works in a private firm at Mandoli and was at his office when the incident took place.   They were living in the house for last two years on rent, he added.  The nearby people said when the fire broke out, they started dousing the blaze.  

Harsh Verma, the relative of Ashutosh, said that they tried to douse the blaze, but the smoke engulfed the entire building.

“I was going to my friend’s home when I saw that the fire broke out in the building. Before the arrival of the fire brigade, we opened the water pumps of nearby houses and started pouring water. We controlled the fire to an extent, but the smoke was very thick. Everyone around tried their best to save the lives,” he said.   Fire officials received a call at 5:22 pm about a blaze in a house in the Shahdara area. Five fire tenders were pressed into service and the blaze was doused by 6:55 pm.

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