Fire devours hundred huts

About 100 huts in a slum were gutted in south Delhi’s Andrews Ganj late on Wednesday afternoon. No injury was reported in the blaze that took over four hours to douse.

Residents suspected that a leaking cylinder in one of the dozens of huts in the slum cluster ignited the blaze. The fire department, however, said they are yet to ascertain the cause.

“There were blasts in more than half-a-dozen cylinders because of which the fire spread quickly. We tried to remove all the cylinders out of the huts as soon as we saw the flames, but not all could be removed on time,” Dev Kumar whose hut was gutted told Deccan Herald.

He also alleged that the fire tenders were late to the spot and hence so many huts were gutted. Fire department officials, however, denied there was any delay on their part.

They said a call was received at 4.15 pm and the blaze was brought under control by 5.20 pm.

But the process of dousing smoke emanating from the burnt huts continued for over four hours since the fire began. The fire department said 12 tenders were pressed into service.

“We are left with no shelter and no clothes. My neighbour who was unaffected by the fire will be providing shelter to me and my family for the night. We will reconstruct our hut tomorrow,” said another victim Rajesh. He said the government was yet to provide any relief to them.

A large number of people live in slums at that location close to Moolchand Flyover. Since the huts are erected very close to each other, the fire spread quickly.

Rajesh said the presence of a large number of plastic and wooden items, all inflammable, also added to the quick spread of the flames.

In a similar incident on the morning after Diwali this year, hundreds of slum dwellers were left home after their huts were gutted.

A rocket cracker was suspected to have caused the blaze in that case.

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