6 choke to death in Delhi from mosquito coil fire | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: A fire that apparently started from a lit mosquito coil falling on a bed claimed six lives, including those of a three-year old child and a pregnant woman, in northeast Delhi’s Shastri Park on Friday morning.
The victims choked to death after losing consciousness as toxic smoke from the fire on the ground floor spread upwards.
The victims lived on the first, second and third floors of the four-storey building in a congested locality on Mazar Wala Road in Shastri Park’s Machhi Market. Several occupants of the house and other locals who managed to douse the fire said thick smoke had engulfed the staircase, making it difficult for residents to locate the exit route in the dark.
Police said the burning mosquito coil had fallen over a mattress sometime during the night. All six victims died due to suffocation while three others were injured.
Fire started on ground floor, spread quickly
The toddler on whose bed a burning mosquito coil had fallen – starting a fire that killed six people in northeast Delhi’s Sashtri Park locality – miraculously escaped unhurt as all residents of the ground floor of the building managed to exit safely.
The fire started from ground-floor home of one Sumaila, who lives there with her one-and-a-half-year-old son. Her husband, Anna, is currently in jail. “I had lit the coil in the night to keep mosquitoes at bay. The coil was kept next to our low-floor bed. Around 8am, I felt a burning sensation in my toes. When I opened my eyes, I saw the blanket covering my son in flames. I immediately removed it and rushed out to alert other family members,” said Sumaila.
She said her brother-in-law, Akbar, too lives on the ground floor and she banged his door for help. “Akbar rushed to get water and threw it on the mattresses but the flames were rising. He then tried to rescue his younger brother Ajmat, his wife and children who were on the first floor,” Sumaila added.
The house owners live on the ground and first floors while the other floors are occupied by tenants. One of the owners had 50 pigeons on the terrace which were safe as the fire didn’t spread to the other floors. A case has been registered in connection with the incident.
Police said they received a call at 9am. “Police rushed to the spot and found that the injured had been taken to Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital. The victims had died of asphyxiation and also had superficial burn wounds. The toxic fumes caused inmates to lose consciousness. Further investigation is on,” said Joy Tirkey, deputy commissioner of police, North-East.
Those who managed to save themselves in the fire stated that the fire started from a room on the ground floor and quickly the exit passage and the staircase were engulfed in flames. The house had two staircases, one at the front and one at the back but due to smoke not everyone could locate these.
As per Akbar, he tried to bring his brother Ajmat’s family members down and in the process Ajmat sustained injuries. “Ajmat lived on the first floor along with his wife and four kids. One of them, aged 3, suffocated to death while the others were saved. Some of us escaped through the stairs at the back,” he said.
Fire officials said the fire itself was small. It was the smoke that killed the victims. “Because of the narrow road, we faced great difficulty in reaching the site. There was no way a fire tender could reach the spot,” said a senior fire official.

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