Four members of a family were killed when a fire broke out at a provisions store in a multi-storey residential building in Naranpura area here today. The victims -- a child, woman and two men -- died of asphyxiation, additional chief fire officer Rajesh Bhatt said. Leakage in gas cylinder or short-circuit is suspected to have caused the fire, he said. The blaze erupted around 7 am in the shop situated on the ground floor of the multi-storey Vardaan Tower in Naranpura, he said. "Four members of the family living in the storage area on the back side of the provisions store died after inhaling the dense smoke due to the heat after their shop caught fire," Bhatt said. The shop had a single exit and entry point and had no ventilation, he said. "The store was narrow, overloaded and there was no independent exit or entry point and not a single ventilator.
The fire may have erupted due to gas leakage or an electric short-circuit," he said. The officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) are working to ascertain the exact cause of the blaze, he said. It took the fire brigade personnel nearly an hour to bring the blaze under control, Bhatt said. The four victims identified as Sunil Chaudhary (40), his wife Leela Chaudhary (33), their son Arjun Chaudhary (2) and a relative Mohan Chaudhary (32) -- were taken to a government hospital where they were declared brought dead, he said. City mayor Gautam Shah and local MLA Kaushik Patel later visited the site. Shah said the family was living illegally in the shop by doubling it up as their house.
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