A sub-inspector working with Chandigarh Police Tuesday claimed to have lost valuables worth Rs 18 lakh after a fire broke out Monday at his government-allotted home at the Police Lines in Sector 26.
Sub-inspector Hawa Singh, who is posted at the Recruitment Training Centre (RTC), alleged the fire brigade reached the spot after a huge delay although they were informed on time, and added the delay led to the losses. The fire broke out at his home around 2 pm while the tenders arrived at 2:45 pm, Singh said.
However, a senior fire brigade officer said, “The first fire tender from the Industrial Area Fire Station reached the spot within seven minutes from receiving the information. The call was received at 2.24 pm and the fire tender reached the house at 2:31 pm.” A total of two fire tenders were sent to douse the flames, the official informed.
Singh said, “We had bought clothes and jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh for my elder daughter’s marriage. There were other household items, furniture etc, which were completely gutted in the fire. My son had gone to bring medicines for my ailing wife when the fire broke out.”
Sources said the neighbours rushed and rescued the woman and also tried their best to douse the flames but to no avail.
He added, “My elder daughter is currently in the USA. We had planned her wedding in March next year. All our clothes have burnt to ashes. Now, we only have the clothes that we are wearing. We spent the night at our neighbour’s home.”
Singh has been allotted a ground floor three-room government accommodation. Sources said although the exact cause is yet to be ascertained, preliminary probe suggests a short-circuit may have led to the fire.