A CISF official died and several files and documents were gutted on Wednesday in a fire at the office of the ministry of social justice in South Delhi's CGO complex that also houses other important government offices.
Central Industrial Security Force 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 a branch of the Indian Air Forces and several government offices, including that of the drinking water and sanitation ministry, the forest ministry, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
Godara, who was earlier part of the IAF, 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 a CISF spokesperson, Godara, a resident of Churu district in Rajasthan, had joined the CISF in 2008. He is survived by two sons and his 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 give any details of 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 to the spot, 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 under way.
Prima facie, it appears that a short-circuit caused the fire. However, the exact reason will be ascertained after investigation.