D Bhaskar Rao who helped in the rescue of residents of the Baba Nivas apartments was trapped in the lift after power was switched off.

After rescuing over ten persons from the jaws of death, 51-year-old security guard D. Bhaskar Rao died when he tried to escape from the fire via the building lift. Rao was trapped in the lift and choked to death as power was switched off as a precautionary measure.

Minutes after flames erupted from the shed abutting the apartment, Rao raised an alarm asking flat-owners to come down through the staircase. He went to the fifth-floor twice and rescued at least 10 persons. He went back to fifth-floor after an occupant, Murthy, called him to switch off LPG cylinder in his house. While trying to come down, he entered the lift and soon after it was crossing the third floor, other flat-owners switched off the power supply without realising that the guard was using the lift.

Filmnagar fire officer D. Mohan Rao said the victim could have died due to asphyxiation after thick smoke engulfed the five-storeyed Baba Nivas apartment. “We broke open the lift grills and retrieved Rao’s body around 2 a.m. on Monday,” he said.

Hailing from Ramachandrapuram in East Godavari district, Rao and his family came to city four years ago. He was working as a security guard at the apartment for the past two years. “His death is a big loss to the family, as he was the only breadwinner,” said Sheshamma, an occupant in the apartment.

Sunday's blaze in Baba Nivas was triggered by a fire at a film and TV set in an adjacent residential apartment. With the death of Rao the number of those killed in the fire rose to six. More than a dozen others sustained injuries, police sources said.

Agencies add

The toll in the fire mishap at a residential apartment near Manikonda here rose to seven after a 39-year-old woman succumbed to burn injuries in the early hours on Tuesday, police said.

G. Anantha Padma, who had sustained over 60 per cent burn injuries in the incident, died at around 5.50 a.m. this morning while undergoing treatment at a hospital, they said.

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