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Woman, her 3-year-old girl stare at dark future after losing husband in building fire in Delhi

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) The world turned upside down for Anita after she lost her husband, the sole earning member of the family, in a blaze that engulfed a multi-storey building in Pitampura claiming the lives of six people.

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Sitting outside of the mortuary of the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital waiting for her husband's body, Anita said she is worried about the future of her three-year-old daughter.

"My husband worked so hard. During the day he used to drive an e-rickshaw and in the evening he used to work as a cook," she told PTI. Santosh had come to Delhi almost five years ago, purchased an e-rickshaw and got a cook's job last year.

"Police asked me to verify the body of my husband at the mortuary. There were only a few burn injuries on his hand and head and I was told that he died due to suffocation as the automatic main door of the fourth floor got locked," Anita said.

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Wailing, he kept asking people standing in front of the mortuary how she and her daughter would survive.

"I called my husband around 7 pm on Thursday to know what should I cook for him. I called him again around 8 pm to find that by what time he would arrive, but he did not respond. By around 9.30 pm his phone was not reachable.

"I was worried sick and I could not reach him over the phone. Around 11 pm, I got a call from the police who asked me to reach the hospital," Anita told PTI, adding that it would be very helpful for her daughter if she gets financial help from the Delhi government.

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Eyewitness to the fire incident in Pitampura said that it was around 8 pm when they started hearing the loud noise of police vehicles and fire tenders.

"I came out of my house and saw people shouting and screaming as they made frantic efforts to save people," said Meenu, a neighbour where the fire incident took place.

The six people, including four women, who died in the incident belonged to three different families. Those who died were identified as Rakesh Gupta (62) his wife Renu Gupta (62) and daughter Shweta (30), Shanu Verma (27), Kirti (25), and Santosh (25).

Santosh was a cook and was working for Shanu and Kirti who are sisters. He was preparing food at their house when the incident occurred. The blaze is suspected to have been caused due to a room heater. PTI BM BM NSD NSD

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