New Delhi: In a freak accident, six people, including a toddler, suffocated to death after a lit mosquito coil tipped over on a mattress and sparked a fire at a house in northeast Delhi’s Shastri Park, police said on Friday.
They lost consciousness after inhaling toxic fume released by the fire and eventually died, they said.
Eyewitnesses said four bodies were found on the stairs and the toddler was found inside the room on the first floor. Two persons who suffered burn injuries were under treatment and three have been discharged.
The residents had gone to sleep after Sehri, which is consumed before day-break during Ramzan, and the fire broke out after that, police said.
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Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Joy Tirkey said they received information about the incident at Mazar Wala Road in Machhi Market around 9 am. After reaching there, police found that nine people were taken to Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital, the DCP said.
The fire department said three water tenders were rushed to douse the fire.
The deceased have been identified as Hamza (3), Pashirul alias Dipai (36), Zahiuddin alias Milu, Dinesh (26), his wife Nisha (25) and Fazlu Choudhary (40).
Zahirul (50) and Soni (15) received burn injuries and were being treated at a hospital, while Mat-ur-Rehman (40), Taju Das (38) and Ajmat Ali (38) have been discharged, police said.
Akbar Ali, the owner of the house, said four of the deceased had come to stay on rent there this week. “They were from Bihar and used to run rickshaws. My brother Asgar gave them room on rent,” Ali, who works as an attendant at e-rickshaw parking, said.
A fifth person was also a tenant. The toddler who died was Ali’s nephew.
“My brother Ajmat and his daughter Soni suffered injuries while his son Hamza has died,” Ali said.
He said his family came out of the house from the other gate. Ali said his brother’s wife Sumaila woke him up when the fire broke out.
“I was sleeping in my room when Sumaila knocked on my door and informed me that a fire had broken out in her room. Immediately, I tried to douse the blaze which had spread to a bed. The first floor of the house was completely filled with smoke from the fire that started on the ground floor,” he said.
“I saved Ajmat’s kids Aram, Farhaan and Mahira, but could not find Hamza in the smoke,” Ali said.
He said there were 20-25 people in the building when the fire broke out.
Nazreen, the mother of Hamza, said the deceased was the youngest of her five children.
“After Sehri we went to sleep around 5 am. In the fire, I lost my youngest child Hamza, while my husband Ajmat Ali and Soni, who were on roza, received burn injuries,” Nazreen said.
She said there were shanties in the area earlier and another fire incident had occurred there seven years ago. “Only the household articles were lost in that fire,” she said.
Hasim, a relative of Akbar Ali, said he pulled out five people from inside the house.
“I live on the ground floor of the house and went upstairs along with another person after covering our faces with wet clothes. There was a lot of smoke. The bodies of four people were lying on the stairs on the first floor, while Hamza was found inside his room,” Hasim said.