The fire broke out in the wee hours of Sunday morning (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)
At least 50 shanties housing Rohingya refugees in southeast Delhi’s Sarita Vihar were gutted in a fire that broke out in the wee hours of Sunday.
The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) received a call at about 3:38 am from Kanchan Kunj in Madanpur Khadar after which 11 fire tenders were pressed into service. They took three hours to douse the flames, an official of the DFS said.
According to police, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, however, preliminary investigations point to an office building located next to the JJ slum camp where the fire could have started, which soon spread all over the camp, according to Indian Express.
“No one was injured, except a resident of the camp who received minor burn injuries on his hand. Three cylinders also exploded during the rescue operation by police and fire department officials,” said a police officer.
Mohammad Shakir, one of the residents of the camp told The Indian Express that about 230 people from the Rohingya community were staying in the camp. “We have also lost all our articles including refugee cards and money as the fire spread very quickly. Many people were sleeping when the fire broke out, however all were rescued on time,” said Shakir.
“We don’t know how fire broke out. We live here for six years,” he added.
Another resident said that camp residents had hired a private security guard to keep a check during night but he had not been reporting for duty since the past three months. “We are very poor people and have no source of income but we had to pay Rs 6000 per month to him. But for three months, the guard was not coming,” said Javed.