4 killed, 8 injured after building catches fire in Karachi’s Hijrat Colony

Bureau Report

Karachi: At least four people, including two women and a minor, were killed after a fire erupted at a three-story building in Karachi’s Hijrat Colony on Saturday.

Rescue workers and police rushed to the scene soon after the incident was reported but faced difficulty in carrying out the rescue operation due to narrow streets. However, they managed to extinguish the flames after a two-hour-long operation.

According to a statement by Civil Lines police, eight others were also injured in the fire. The deceased and the injured were all shifted to Civil Hospital, the statement added.

It added that a police constable, Naeem Gujjar, was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) after his condition deteriorated during the rescue operation due to inhaling smoke.

Rescue officials said one of the injured saved his life by jumping from the first floor of the building.

Deputy Commissioner South Irshad Ali Sodhar said initial investigations suggested the incident occurred due to a short circuit.

“Apparently, this looks like a short circuit.”

He added that the deceased had presumably died of suffocation after inhaling smoke from the fire.

“The incident took place early morning and it took 15 to 20 minutes to [mobilize the response] so I think the victims died due to suffocation. Three of the deceased didn’t have any burn injuries.”

He added that other families were evacuated in time and authorities were in the process of arranging shelter for them. Sodhar said the government would give compensation to the families of the deceased.

Commenting on reports of an illegal factory on the first floor of the building, the DC said: “If someone has made a storeroom in their home, nobody would have any knowledge of that. They are saying it was a storeroom for clothes. But we have not found any evidence of a factory.”

Two days ago, a multi-storey residential building collapsed in Karachi’s Korangi area. The death toll rose to four on Friday after three more bodies of the same family were recovered from the debris.