Two asphyxiate to death after fire in advocate’s office

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Narrow escape for advocate and his two colleagues

Two elderly men died of asphyxiation in a fire caused by an electrical short circuit at an advocate’s office housed in a four-storeyed commercial complex in Gandhi Nagar here on Sunday.

The dead were identified as Sundar (67), a businessman and resident of Rajajinagar, and the advocate’s typist, Nayaz (61).

The office belonged to advocate Balakrishna M.N.

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Sundar had come to the advocate’s office to get his rental agreement prepared and Nayaz, a retired government employee, was typing the agreement when the fire broke out.

The advocate’s office is situated in the mezzanine floor of the building on 5 Main Road in the area. Since it was a Sunday, most of the offices on the building were locked, but Mr. Balakrishna had called his staff to prepare documents for legal cases scheduled to come up in court on Monday.

Narrow escape
It was a narrow escape for Mr. Balakrishna and his two junior advocates, Ramesh and Venkatesh, who had just stepped out of the office for coffee, leaving behind Nayaz to type out the document.

“When we returned 10 minutes later, we noticed thick smoke engulfing the building and a crowd gathering at the entrance trying to get in,” Mr. Balakrishna told The Hindu.

Soon, the Fire and Emergency Services personnel arrived at the spot, went in and brought out Sundar and Nayaz. They were rushed to Victoria Hospital, where they were declared as brought dead.

The police said that Sunday’s electrical short circuit was the third one in the same building during the last six months. However, building owner Sundar Bhandari told the police that he had changed the wiring of the entire building soon after the previous fire two months ago.

The Upparpet police have taken up a case of death due to negligence against the owner of the building.

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