More than 50 families were trapped in a blaze in an eight -storey building on Ganesh Avenue in central Kolkata late on Friday night, leading to two deaths including that of a minor boy, who jumped from the seventh floor of the building out of fear.
An elderly woman, who was charred to death after getting trapped in fire, was the second casualty. At least seven persons were rushed to the hospital where two are still admitted and undergoing treatment.
The building is located in a congested area, with adjoining buildings standing dangerously close to each other. The fire was spotted around 10.30 pm in the basement and it spread fast to the upper floors, said fire brigade officers.
12 fire tenders and a hydraulic ladder were pressed into service to douse the fire.
Fire services minister Sujit Bose rushed to the spot and stayed there till the flames were brought under control till 4 am in the morning.
“Rescuing people and fire fighting are going on simultaneously. The building has only one entry and exit point which is narrow. This has made things difficult,” he said.
The source of the fire was suspected to be in the basement.
When the flames spread to the upper floors many residents rushed to the roof, said fire brigade officials.
Residents of the adjoining building of the same height placed wooden planks between the two buildings and rescued a few people while fire brigade personnel searched the rooms of the affected building for any one trapped.
By early morning most people had been rescued and the flames brought under control.