Hotel Arpit Palace fire in Delhi: Earlier call could have saved more lives, says fire officer; most died due to suffocation

  • After Delhi hotel fire, Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said more lives could have been saved if they had got the call on time

  • Garg said the hotel authorities were either trying to control it or did not know about the fire

  • He said exits were blocked by the fire and the watchman had closed the back entry gates

New Delhi: After Delhi hotel fire tragedy in which 17 people were killed, Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg on Wednesday said more lives could have been saved if they had got the call on time.

Talking about the shortcoming, Garg said, “We got the call very late. Either they were trying to control it before or they did not know about the fire. When we reached, the intensity of fire increased.”

 Hotel Arpit Palace fire in Delhi: Earlier call could have saved more lives, says fire officer; most died due to suffocation

A massive fire at a hotel in Delhi killed 17 people. PTI

According to the Delhi Fire Department, 35 people were rescued from Hotel Arpit Palace. At least 11 people suffered injuries and were sent to the hospital. “There was commercial fitting in stairs and corridors which was the reason why the fibre sheet caught fire. Due to fire, exits were blocked. I was told that the watchman closed the back entry gates. Windows were not opening. There was a push button but no one could find it because of the dark. The reason for most deaths is smoke,” Garg told ANI.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the fire tragedy at Hotel Arpit Palace. Speaking about the NOC of the hotel, Garg said, “We have examined their NOC. The hotel has given it in writing that they don’t need the area on the 5th floor.”

It has been reported that the hotel has been using the fifth floor as a restaurant, which caused the fire. According to the chief officer, there are around 380 NOCs given to guest house-cum-hotel in Karol Bagh area.

Garg stressed on public awareness and said, “People should also need to be aware. They should ask the hotel whether it has NOCs or not. We will launch a drive to educate the people.”

When asked about the actions against violating hotels, Garg said, “Six teams have been constituted. If we find any irregularities, we will cancel the hotel’s license right away.”

Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 18:16:10 IST