Infant, four elderly died in apartment fire

Engineer loses three members of family City engineer P.P. Venugopal lost his parents and a 10-day old infant in the fire at the Baba Nivas apartments in Sri ramnagar, Puppalguda, on Sunday night.

More than 30 people had managed to escape when the fire engulfed the multi-storeyed building but five elderly people and the infant were charred to death as they were left stranded, highlighting yet again how the aged and the very young are the first victims in any mishap. Mr Venugopal's wife Sharada had come down from their apartment with one of her twins and her six-year-old son Srujan to meet with neighbours when she saw the flames.
At the same time, her mother and in-laws closed the door of the flat, thinking that that would stop the fire.

“Though she ran back to the flat to rescue our other twin and our parents, the blaze swiftly across the veranda, restricting her movements,“ said Mr. Venugopal, who is a planning engineer with Voltas.
While Mr Venugopal's parents, P. Srihari, 61, and P. Aruna, 55, died in the flames, his mother in law
Ananta Ravamma has been admitted to Osmania General Hospital with severe burns. The bodies of city engineer P.P. Venugopal’s parents and his son were taken to his native place Vatticherukuru in Guntur on Monday afternoon after the post-mortem.

A. Kushal Kumar, who lost his 88-year-old grandmother in the flames, said, “Though I rushed back to the flat after seeing my wife and two kids safe outside, the fire spread so quickly that I
couldn’t enter the building.” Mr Kumar received treatment at OGH. His grandmother A. Mahalakshmi died inside her room.

M. Venkateshwara Rao who lost his father in the fire said that the situation was chaotic. “As soon as we saw the fire, we ran up to the fifth floor. However, my father tried to go to the ground floor,” Mr Rao said. Since the fire didn’t reach the fifth floor, he, his wife and son escaped. His father M. Venkat Subhaiah, 59, however, was trapped in the blaze at the first floor and died on the spot.

Among the injured is housewife G. Padma, 39, whose condition is said to be critical.

Police said that the value of the property lost was yet to be calculated.

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