On Monday evening, at least 350 huts were gutted in a fire in Old Delhi’s Sadar Bazar vicinity which left hundreds homeless. The fire was reported at 6.45 pm and was brought under control three hours later. According to the fire officials and the police department, the fire was triggered by a cylinder blast.
The fire was doused by 9.30 pm but most of the houses were already gutted. The area was a cluster that, according to the residents, had come up in 1975 and a majority of the residents are labourers. The tenants are mostly migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
Some residents claim that a lot of the houses could have been saved if the fire brigade had arrived on time. The first fire engine came around 45 minutes after the fire broke out and it didn’t have enough water to resist the massive fire. By the time the second vehicle arrived, the damage was done. In the end, it took 30 fire engines to control the blaze.
A Delhi Fire Service (DFS) official told The Indian Express that they had received the call at 6.44 pm and the fire was controlled at 9.30 pm, but cooling operations were on till late in the night. They also denied the claims that they reached late.
The DFS also reported that four persons have been injured as of now, but the number could be higher.
Cooling operations are underway. The DFS also reported that four persons have been injured but the number could go up.