Delhi experienced a staggering total of 14,000 fire incidents from January to November this year, resulting in 56 casualties and over 600 injuries, as per official data shared by the Delhi Fire Service.
Analysis of the data reveals that November marked the peak with the highest number of fire-related incidents coinciding with the Diwali celebrations, whereas February witnessed the lowest occurrences.
The month of March recorded the most significant loss of life with 14 fatalities across different fire incidents, making it the deadliest month in terms of casualties.
In 2023, a total of 14,393 fire incidents were reported between January and November.
Highlighting the critical role of time in managing such emergencies, Atul Garg, Director of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS), emphasized that even a one-minute delay in reporting these incidents could drastically impact lives.
“A small delay in reporting intensifies the fire, making it challenging to control. Managing an intense fire not only becomes difficult but also requires more time,” he said, urging people to inform DFS immediately upon the outbreak of a fire.
Garg pointed out that traffic congestion significantly affects response times, causing difficulties for fire departments to reach the incident site.
He mentioned that several fire-prone areas in the national capital suffer from congestion, limiting and delaying the arrival of fire tenders.
“The Delhi Fire Service receives around 32,000 calls annually, addressing not only fire incidents but also various other emergencies like animal rescue, bird rescue, drownings, house collapses, and road accidents,” he added. “All calls are promptly attended to.”
According to DFS data, the department received 1171, 941, 1230, 1672, 1570, and 1345 calls in the months of January, February, March, April, May, and June, respectively.
The number of fire incidents reported in July, August, September, October, and November were 1,194, 1,174, 968, 1,385, and 1,800, respectively.
Discussing significant fire incidents, Garg highlighted the challenging rescue operations in Roop Nagar and Laxmi Nagar, shedding light on the risks faced by both the public and firefighters.
In June, students at a coaching institute in northwest Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar area resorted to extreme measures, such as breaking windows, using ropes, and ladders to escape a fire outbreak in the building.
Last month, a fire erupted in a Laxmi Nagar building, claiming the life of a 55-year-old woman. Firefighters rescued 25 individuals from the inferno that originated in the parking area due to a suspected short circuit and spread to upper floors. A firefighter sustained injuries during the rescue.
“Despite the intensity of these situations, there were no casualties among the rescue teams in 2023,” Garg added. (With inputs from PTI)