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Fire breakes out in Home Ministry, no one hurt

New Delhi: A fire broke out in a conference room in North Block adjoining Home Minister P Chidambaram`s office here this afternoon but there was no casualty or major damage in the incident. The blaze broke out in conference room no. 102 and the fire brigade was informed by Police Control Room at around 2:20 pm following which eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The fire broke out at a place which is adjacent to the offices of Chidambaram, Minister of State for Home Mullapally Ramachandran and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanaswamy. Chidambaram, the other ministers and officials including Home Secretary R K Singh were not present in Home Ministry when the blaze occurred.

The fire, described as "minor" by Delhi Fire Service Director A K Sharma, was doused by 2:50 pm. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained but fire brigade officials suspect it to be a case of short circuit in an air-conditioner. "The fire broke out in the first floor of the building near the Home Minister`s office but it did not reach his office. There is no damage to the Minister`s office nor any files have been damaged," Dushyant Singh, Chief Security Officer in Home Ministry, told PTI.

Sharma said the Police Control Room conveyed to the fire service that smoke was billowing out of a window in North Block following which the fire tenders were rushed. "The fire was a minor one. We have doused it," he said. The fire was restricted to only one room, he said, but refused to speculate on the cause of the blaze.

"There were not many people inside the building. The cause could be due to some electrical (malfunction). I would not like to confirm it before ascertaining it," he said. Soon after the blaze was detected, police had cordoned off the area.

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