225 shanties gutted in fire; 500 families left homeless
Noida: Over a hundred families of poor migrant labourers were left homeless in this chilling winter as a massive fire engulfed around 200 shanties at a slum in Sarfabad village in sector 73 of Noida. Police officials said that over a dozen fire tenders were pressed into action which took around three hours to douse the flames that started in wee hours on Friday.
"The incident took place at around 3:15 am on Friday, following which, fire tenders and ambulances from around the district were rushed to the spot to perform rescue operations. No casualties was reported in the incident, however, a man living in these slums has sustained burn injuries who has been admitted in district hospital and his condition is stable," said Shwetabh Pandey, Circle Officer-III, Noida.
Police officers said that the reason behind the fire is being investigated, while authorities say that prima facie it looks like a hearth or bonfire might have triggered the fire.
"The fire left around 225 shanties reduced to ashes leaving around 450-500 families homeless. Prima facie it looks like, sparks from a bonfire might have triggered the fire. The shanties were made of wood and packed with plastic which made it even more difficult for fire engines to tame the blaze - which spread rapidly due to wind speed and bursting of few gas cylinders," said Mamchand Badgujar, Fire Safety Officer Phase-2, Noida.
Sources claimed that the slum comprised of around 500 shanties which were built illegally on authority's land. The contractor had allegedly rented out these shanties for Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 per house. People living in the slums belonged to Bengal, who settled in the city from past many years.