It was yet not clear if the occupants of the PG accommodation were students or working women. The area residents told Chandigarh Newsline that while a few were college students, working women also occupied the place.




At least three girls who were staying as paying guests in a double-storeyed house in Chandigarh’s Sector 32 of are feared dead after a fire broke out in their accommodation at about 4 pm on Saturday.

A fourth roommate who jumped off the first floor of the house has sustained critical injuries and has been admitted in GMCH-32. The deceased were identified as Riya, Pakshi and Muskan.

It was yet not clear if the occupants of the PG accommodation were students or working women. The area residents told Chandigarh Newsline that while a few were college students, working women also occupied the place.

Multiple fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took them nearly two hours to douse the flame. Short-circuit is presumed to be the primary cause of the fire, however, fire department officials said a thorough inspection of the spot shall be made to ascertain the exact cause of fire.

At the time of the incident, the PG caretaker and domestic help were also present in the house. “Both of them ran out as the house got engulfed in flames. It is learnt that the three girls were sleeping while the fourth girl was studying at the time of incident,” one of the eyewitnesses told Newsline.

The 250 square yards double-storey house (ground and first floor) had a separate room on the second floor and was being used as PG accommodation. Preliminary reports suggest that the PG was being run “illegally” as it was not registered with the Chandigarh Administration as Registered Paying Guest accommodation. However, police and Chandigarh administration were yet to inquire the exact details.

According to police, the owner of the house, Gaurav Aneja runs a confectionery shop in Sector 32 and stayed with his family in Sector 30.  A caretaker who was found at the spot was detained by the police for questioning.

Pre-fabricated partitions were being used on the ground as well as first floor of the House to accommodate a large number of women as occupants of the accommodation.

According to preliminary details, out of the 34 women staying as PGs, 25 were present in the accomodation during the day. The neighbours told Chandigarh Newsline that at the time when fire broke out, there were four-five women present in the House.

An area resident added that the owner had given the house on rent, to a man named Hitesh Bansal who was running the hostel. However, police are yet to verify the claims.

This is a developing story. More details awaited.

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