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Security guard killed in fire at building in KG Marg

New Delhi, Nov 19,2012 , DHNS
An Indian firefighter uses a hose in an attempt to control a fire that broke out in a fifteen story building in New Delhi early November 19, 2012. No casualities were reported in the fire. AFP

A 52-year-old security guard was killed in a major fire that broke out at the 12-storey building Himalaya House at Kasturba Gandhi Marg in New Delhi on Monday morning.

A security guard, who was stuck inside the building, died of suffocation. However, the firemen managed to save two other guards, stuck on the eleventh floor.







The victim, Jai Bhagwan, worked as a guard in one of the offices. “He must have been trying to escape from the building by going down when he died of suffocation,” said a fire officer. He used to live in Burari area in north Delhi along with his family. His family members alleged that he died due to the negligence of fire officials and police.

A K Sharma, director of the Delhi Fire Services, said that the deceased was sleeping at the eight floor of the building when the fire broke out.

Raj Kumar, another security guard, who was at the eleventh floor, had a narrow escape while Shiv Kumar who was on duty at the sixth floor received burn injuries. “I am very thankful to God and fire officials. They saved my life,” Raj Kumar told Deccan Herald.

The fire that started from the third floor of the twelve-storey building went upto the eighth floor. The building is owned by Lok Nath. As many as 50 offices including one of the Shriram Group, situated on the third floor, were gutted.

“We received a call regarding fire at 6.20 am at the fire control room. Over 30 fire tenders and water bowsers were sent to douse the fire,” said a fire official.

Three hydraulic platforms were used in the rescue operation. The blaze that started before six in morning was brought under control by 12.45 pm. It took the firemen around six hours to douse the fire completely, the fire officer said.

Two guards were rescued by the firemen at around 10 am while the blaze was still on. Hydraulic platform was installed in the premises of Jai Prakash building which is adjacent to Himalaya House to carry on the rescue operation.

After the fire was brought under control, the firemen went inside the building and found Jai Bhagwan dead on the eighth floor.

There are around 120 offices inside the building at 23, KG Marg. State Bank of India has its office at the ground floor. Shriram group has its office at the third floor, Chadha and Chadha, Tamarind Tours and Travel, Camus and Shriram Pistons are located on the fourth floor.

According to the fire officials, the building did not have a no objection certificate from the fire department. After the rules of fire safety amended in the year 2010, the fire department had sent a notice to all the high-rise buildings to renew their NOC. “Himalaya House did not have an NOC from the fire department,” said a fire official.

“There were 12 fire fighting systems in the building. We are not sure whether they were working,” Sharma said. The official further said that it appeared that extensive renovation was going on in the building. “There was synthetic material also. It was the reason for the fire spreading quickly. Fire spread from one floor to another quickly through an electrical shaft,” said the fire official. The exact reason behind the fire is still a matter of investigation.

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