DFS responds over 13k calls in first 6 months this year, 8,700 of them related to fire incidents

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) The Delhi Fire Service responded to over 13,700 calls in the first six months of 2021, of which 8,700 calls were related to fire incidents, officials said on Sunday.

The national capital witnessed the maximum fire incidents in April this year when the city went into lockdown owing to the second wave of coronavirus, they said.

According to data, the fire department responded to 13,709 calls from January to June this year, of which, 8,730 calls were related to fire incidents.

There has been a rise in the number of calls to the Delhi Fire Service's control room since April. In the month of April alone, the fire-fighters responded to 3,240 calls, of which 2,582 calls were related to fire incidents, the maximum in any month this year, the data showed.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a lockdown in the national capital on April 19 in view of an exponential rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

As the relaxations began, the fire calls also went up and according to data, the fire department received 2,174 calls in May, of which 1,322 calls were related to fire.

In June, it received 2,161 calls, of which 1,326 calls were related to fire incidents, data showed.

Atul Garg, Director of the Delhi Fire Service said, 'Establishments which were closed during the lockdown in April this year were reopened later without any maintenance and repair work.

'Usually when summer approaches, with the increase in temperature, there is an increase in fire-related calls too but in addition to this when the relaxations were announced, several establishments, including factories, started their operations without proper maintenance.' He said these establishments did not check for any kind of electrical default and began the work as people were more focused on their re-starting their businesses.

'Most of the fire-incidents that we witnessed were due mainly due to default in electrical wire,' he said.

The national capital also recorded its first heat wave of this summer in June with the mercury settling at 43 degrees Celsius.

Most of the fire incidents were reported from factories and commercial establishments, including a massive fire that broke out in June at a two-storey shoe godown in west Delhi's Udyog Nagar following which six workers were reported to be missing and only charred human remains were recovered from the spot.

The most popular shopping spot -- central market of Lajpat Nagar -- also witnessed a major fire incident in June following which over four shops were damaged but no one was reportedly injured.

In another incident, a 45-year-old woman, two of her sons and a daughter died of suffocation when a fire broke out at their Shahdara residence following an LPG cylinder explosion. PTI AMP TDS TDS

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