It took the fire services almost three hours and 16 fire tenders to douse the blaze
Five members of a family — two women and three children — had a providential escape after fire broke out on the first floor of a building on C.M.H. Road Friday afternoon. Swift action by the neighbours and fire officials helped save their lives though they suffered light injuries.
The fire, noticed around 3.15 p.m. on the unoccupied first floor, spread rapidly, taking the family, which lives on the second floor, by surprise. The first floor was engulfed by dense smoke as the fire gutted office furniture. The family’s second floor residence and a vegetable supermarket on the ground floor escaped the fire’s fury.
Neighbours were the first to arrive to help the trapped family. Imtiaz Ahmed, president of the C.M.H. Road Shops and Establishments Association, said: “Neighbours broke glass windows of the building to help release the smoke and someone switched off the electrical mains.”
Their efforts must be appreciated, he added.
Building owner Mahaveer Chand said: “I was first alerted by the owner of the medical shop opposite the building. However, all the five managed to get out without much harm.”
Eyewitness said four rescuers helped the family escape by placing a ladder on the building’s side.
It took the fire services almost three hours and 16 fire tenders to douse the blaze. Their job was made doubly difficult by curious crowds that caused a traffic jam.
The family members were identified as Mr. Chand’s daughters-in-law Kesar (27) and Kusum (23) and their three children Dhavan (4), Dishan (2) and nine-month-old Phalak.
They were taken to Chinmaya Hospital after their ordeal and discharged.
Doctors said an eyewitness, Priyanka (26), was also brought to the hospital in a state of shock.
The police said this was the third incident in recent times that fire was reported on C.M.H. Road. In January this year, during the Sankranti festival, a miscreant set fire to S.R.S. Plaza there. The suspect, Bhramachari, who escaped with Rs. 2 lakh in cash, was arrested later. Last year, three men were arrested for setting fire to the premises of P.M. Relocations after stealing Rs. 2 lakh to be disbursed as salary the following day.