A fire broke out in an apartment in a women's paying guest facility in Northwest Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar on Wednesday evening and the firemen were able to rescue 35 people, one of them a four-year-old girl.
According to officials from the fire department, five persons, including the girl, were taken to hospital since they had inhaled fumes.
While the fire department sent 20 fire tenders to the site, only eight could reach the spot because of traffic congestion and narrow lanes.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he is monitoring the situation.
According to the fire department, they received information about the blaze in the Signature Apartments at 7.47 pm, and rushed 20 fire tenders to the spot.
"Things are under control...there is no casualty and everyone has been evacuated," Delhi Chief Fire Service Officer Atul Garg told PTI around 9.30 pm. "Fire is completely extinguished. There were around 35 girls and all are safe."
How did the building catch fire?
Atul Garg said that they think the fire started from a metre board installed near the staircase and spread to the upper floors, he said. The building has a ground floor and three more storeys and has only one staircase and a kitchen on the terrace.
Panic gripped the area as flames leapt out of the building. Videos from the spot showed firemen climbing ladders to rescue those trapped inside with ambulance and fire tenders sirens blaring in the backdrop.
A fire official said since the lanes of the area are congested, it was a challenge for the firetenders to reach the site.
"Eight firetenders could reach the site despite us deploying 20 units. The units were stuck in traffic near Hanuman Mandir at Kashmere Gate and then at Vishwavidyalaya. We sought the help of traffic control room and they assisted our vehicles," he said.
The official said that there are no rules for paying guest accommodations that mandate them to take a fire No Objection Certificate.
"Many guest houses that are unable to get a fire NOC are operating in the guise of PGs," he said.
The official said that five of the residents, including the minor girl, were trapped and had to be rescued. A few managed to come out on their own while some others were guided by the firefighters.
Aryan, the caretaker of the PG house, said, "There are 45 beds in the paying guest accommodation. There were 33-34 people inside when the fire started in the metre board."
Kejriwal said he is keeping eye on the developments in the incident which he termed "extremely saddening."
"This incident of fire in a PG in Mukherjee Nagar area is extremely saddening. The district administration and fire department have been instructed to safely evacuate the children present in the PG as soon as possible. I am constantly keeping an eye on it," he added.
In June, a fire at Bhandari House in Mukherjee Nagar's Batra Complex jeopardised the lives of scores of students taking coaching classes there, raising concerns about the fire safety standards in buildings across the thickly populated area which has coaching centres in just about every nook and corner