Dwarka blaze: ‘building’s fire control system wasn’t working, safety certificate had expired’ 

Published - February 23, 2024 01:05 am IST -  New Delhi

The damaged fourth-floor flat at Pacific Society in Sector 10 of Dwarka.

The damaged fourth-floor flat at Pacific Society in Sector 10 of Dwarka. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

The fire incident in a Dwarka housing society that led to the death of an octogenarian as she and her granddaughter jumped from their fourth-floor apartment to save themselves on Wednesday, has raised concerns over the non-compliance of fire safety norms in the city.

The Dwarka incident occurred, in all likelihood, due to a gas leak or short-circuit in an air-conditioner, officials said.

Delhi Fire Services Director Atul Garg said the fire control system installed at Pacific Society in Sector 10, Dwarka, was not working and the firefighters had to rely on their own equipment and tankers to douse the flames.

Mr. Garg said the fire safety certificate of the building had expired long ago and it wasn’t renewed by the resident welfare association (RWA).

As soon as the fire spread inside the flat at Pacific Society, 83-year-old Jasuri Devi and her granddaughter Pooja Pant, 30, rushed to the balcony as the raging flames blocked the way to the apartment’s entrance door.

Both jumped from the balcony as their neighbours, in a bid to rescue them, stood below holding bedsheets and spreading out mattresses for their safe landing.

Fatal fall

The octogenarian received severe head injuries due to the fall, leading to her death. Ms. Pant was severely injured and is currently in the intensive care unit (ICU) of AIIMS.

A resident from a neighbouring society, Dr. Asha, said, “No fire safety checks are being carried out in the societies here, putting our lives in danger.” She said local residents will now take up the matter with their RWAs to press them to hold fire safety classes every week.

An RWA member of Pacific Society, however, said they do conduct fire safety drills from time to time, but could not rescue the victims as the door of their apartment was locked from inside.

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