Three children including a six-month-old boy of a family were charred to death and a child from another family was injured after a fire broke out in the slum-cluster of North-East Delhi’s New Usmanpur. Police said the fire broke out at about 11.30 pm Saturday in 2nd Pushta area.
Police said prima facie the cause of fire seemed to be an electrical short circuit. The fire destroyed around 12 jhuggis. “There were three casualties from one family. After the fire broke out, a mother of three was unable to rescue her children from the house,” said a police officer.
Police said the deceased had been identified as Reena (8), Meena (6) and six-month-old Mubarak.
The injured child, Shakhuddin, has been admitted to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital with 60 per cent burn injuries, said police.
A neighbour, Rubina, said she saw Bahaduri, the mother of the three children killed in the fire, running out of her jhuggi. “I managed to get my children out when I saw Bahaduri outside her jhuggi. She was not able to speak and later started screaming that her kids were still inside. By then the flames had already spread very far,” she said. Rubina said cylinder blasts worsened the fire and claimed she heard at least seven such blasts before the fire was brought under control.
Fire officials said eight fire tenders rushed to the spot and it took two hours to douse the fire.
Bahaduri was admitted to Jag Parvesh Hospital and was in a state of shock, police said. Her husband, Mohammad Raquid, was not at home during the fire.
Raquid, who works as a waste collector, said, “We usually go to collect waste in Gandhi Nagar at night. When I came back at about 3 am, I heard my children had died.” The police handed the bodies to him Sunday afternoon. The Delhi government arranged for tents nearby for those affected. DCW chairperson, Swati Maliwal, also visited the slum cluster.