A Central Industrial Security Force official died and several files and documents gutted on Wednesday in a major fire at the office of the ministry of social justice in South Delhi's CGO complex that also houses other important government offices.
CISF sub-inspector M P Godara, 53, died in the fire on the fifth floor of Pandit Deendayal Antodaya Bhawan, previously known as Paryavaran Bhawan.
The 11-storey building houses several government offices, including that of department of empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Godara, a former Air Force personnel, first noticed the smoke coming out of the fifth floor and reached the spot with other CISF personnel to start evacuating the area.
But during the evacuation process, he inhaled toxic gasses and fell unconscious.
He was taken to AIIMS, where he died, officials said.
According to CISF spokesperson, Godara, a resident of Churu district in Rajasthan, had joined CISF in 2008. He is survived by two sons and wife who live in Churu.
Ministry officials said 80 per cent of the entire B1 wing of the building has been gutted in the fire and several files and documents have been destroyed.
A ministry official said it was difficult at this moment to say about the damage, "but surely several files and documents may have been destroyed".
"An assessment can be done once we go inside," the official said.
The fire department received a call about the fire at 8:34 am and 25 tenders were rushed, Delhi Fire Services officials said.
The fire was brought under control at 10. 50 am.
Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said the cooling process is underway.
Prima facie, it appears that a short-circuit caused the fire. However, the exact reason would be ascertained after investigation.
Offices of the drinking water and sanitation ministry, forest ministry and a branch of the Indian Air Force are located in the building.