The seminar room in the seven-storey Emergency Block of the LNJP Hospital where a fire was reported in the early hours on Monday was locked when it had happened, and alertness and presence of mind shown by the staff of the facility averted a major incident, a senior official said. The 1,500-bed facility is the largest hospital run by the Delhi government, and also the nerve centre of the city's battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
"The incident took place around 12:30 am and some of our staff saw smoke coming out of the seminar room, which was locked. Showing alertness, they opened the room immediately and used small fire extinguishers to put it out as much as possible, until the fire tenders arrived," a senior official of the hospital said. The fire had broken out in the seminar room, located on the ground floor of the Emergency Block, and all patients were immediately shifted, she said.
No casualty was reported, Delhi Fire Service officials said earlier in the day. "The room was locked and if our staff had not been alert, it could have turned into a big incident. Their alertness and presence of mind averted a major fire incident, as it happened in a multi-storey block. Power supply had got briefly snapped too but we shifted all the patients on that floor to another area as smoke was spreading out," the LNJP Hospital official, also a senior doctor, said.
The room is used for conducting training sessions for doctors and other staff, she said. The official said that its staff are trained in firefighting and the training came handy.
"Also, our staff, be it doctors, nurses or others, have seen the most challenging times during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so it has made them tougher I believe in handling a crisis situation," she added. The official at the facility, located in the heart of Delhi, said the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but the smoke was coming out of the AC vents, indicating a short circuit may have led to it.
Atul Garg, the director of Delhi Fire Service, earlier said, "six fire tenders were rushed to the spot," adding that the cause of the fire was being ascertained.