A child and an elderly woman had their lives snuffed out after a devastating fire ripped through a seven-storeyed building at 21 Ganesh Chandra Avenue on Friday night.
At least two persons were still fighting for their lives at a city hospital after having sustained serious burn injuries in the incident, police said.
Memories of the Stephen Court inferno flashed in the minds of the local residents after the fire broke out on the first floor of the multi-storeyed residential building and spread to the upper floors.
At least 12 fire tenders with hydraulic ladders were pressed into action to rescue the trapped people.
According to police estimates, at least 50 people had to be evacuated to safer places after the blaze ripped through the building.
Fire fighters had to fight for about three and half hours to douse the flames. According to fire brigade sources, the devastating fire broke out at around 10.15 on Friday night at the building at 21 Ganesh Chandra Avenue.
According to a local resident, the decade-old structure, according to the residents, had a mesh of electric wires and a single exit point. “The source of fire was probably the meter room at the ground floor,” said a resident of the building.
“Tongues of flames shooting out near the exit, made it difficult for us to go out. Around 48 panic-stricken families were trapped in the building before being evacuated,” he added.
The leaping flames had caused widespread consternation among the residents. Police said there were at least 48 families in the building at the time when the fire broke out and they were feared trapped as the there was only one exit route, which got blocked due to the raging flames.
The panicky residents scrambled on the terrace of the building and in the process a 12-year old boy fell from the terrace and was rushed to a city hospital, where he had succumbed to his injuries.
According to police, a 60year old woman was suspected to have died due to asphyxiation after she found herself trapped in a bathroom. State fire services minister Sujit Bose visited the site of the fire on Friday night and supervised the rescue operations.
State disaster management group ( DMG) personnel along with police with sniffer dogs helped in carrying out the rescue operation.
Another spell of panic gripped the residents this morning when smoke continued to billow out from the building.
Police, meanwhile had cordoned off the area and asked the residents not to enter the building till normality is fully restored.