A fire broke out on Monday evening in the Lok Nayak Bhawan in Lutyens’ Delhi, the Delhi Fire Services said. The fire started at the fourth floor of the multi- storeyed building, located next to the upscale Khan Market, a fire official said, adding no injuries were reported. The building houses several government offices such as the Enforcement Directorate, the National Commission for Schedules Castes among others. According to the official from the Delhi Fire Services, the building’s fire NOC had expired and had not been renewed. Every three years, structure NOC is renewed after scrutiny of safety measures, he said. “A call was received around 4 pm and around 26 fire tenders were pressed into service. The blaze was doused by 7 pm. Cooling operations are underway,” the official said. It seems the fire broke out after an air conditioner’s compressor burst in the canteen which is located on the fourth floor, he said. The fire engulfed the Income Tax Settlement Commission’s office. The extent of damage to files and documents is yet to be ascertained, the official said. The blaze was confined to the fourth floor. Initially, the firefighters faced difficulty in dousing the blaze as there was no smoke ventilation, he said.
It was only after window panes were broken that the smoke started coming out and the firefighters could enter, an official, who was part of the operation, said.
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The people, who were present in the building, have been safely evacuated. Those who were present on the fourth floor were taken out through the staircase that led towards Khan Market. The four firefighters, who were were trapped in the smoke on the third floor, have been rescued.
The official said they faced breathing issues as the smoke had spread to the floor. They were rescued and are doing fine after first-aid, he said. The blaze has been declared a medium-category fire, said the official.