A security guard was charred to death when a major fire broke out in the multi-storeyed Himalaya House, housing several commercial establishments, in the heart of the capital this morning.
The blaze was reported from the 15 storeyed building, which is around 50 metres high, on K G Marg near Connaught Place at around 6.20 AM and 32 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
"The body of a security guard was recovered from the building. He was apparently sleeping when the fire broke out and could not get out of the building. Two guards were rescued," A K Sharma, Director of Delhi Fire Services, told reporters.
The deceased has been identified as Jai Bhagwan (52), whose body was recovered from the eighth floor. Another guard Shiv Kumar was rescued from sixth floor while Raj Kumar was rescued from the 11th floor.
"There were 12 fire fighting systems in the building. We are not sure whether they were working," Sharma said.
The fire broke out in the third floor of the building and it spread to the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth floor soon. The fire was doused a little after noon and the cooling process was on.
Thick plumes of smoke were billowing out of the building and rescue workers were working hard to douse the fire which broke out apparently due to an electrical fault.
Police and fire brigade officials said they were yet to ascertain the cause of the blaze though they suspected it to be due to a short circuit.
"There was a lot of smoke. The smoke blackened the sky," Kamal, an eyewitness, said.
Police has blocked traffic on K G Marg from Outer Circle of Connaught Place to Tolstoy Marg intersection on K G Marg.
Sharma said it appeared that extensive renovation was going on in the building.
"The thrust of the fire was mainly on 4th, 5th and 6th floors of the building. Cables were lying on the 7th and 9th floors of the building. There was plywood lying around. Rooms were under renovation.
"There was synthetic material also. It was the reason for the fire spreading quickly. Fire spread from one floor to another quickly through an electrical shaft," he said.