According to the police, the fire broke out at 2.40 am on 9 January and soon took over the entire three-storey building of the printing press. Around 30 fire tenders were deployed to control the blaze.
The police said the fire broke out due an electric short circuit. A switchboard near the lift on the ground floor short-circuited. The press employees present tried to control the fire, however, police said, the fire extinguisher was not working. As the blaze increased, the press employees evacuated the building and informed the fire brigade.
The person who died has been identified as Phool Dev. He joined the company recently as a pantry help. He was sleeping in the building when the fire broke out and died due to suffocation from smoke, the fire department officials said.
Officials said the same switch board short-circuited on a previous occasion as well, but the damages were not severe. They said they received information about the fire when the manager of the press called them.
A more than 30 years old book printing firm, Kaveri was established by the brothers Atul and Anuj Goel as a single-colour unit before expanding. In 2014, the company invested in its first brand new machine, a Komori Enthrone 429.
According to an outside estimate soon after the fire, the total loss for Kaveri will amount to more than Rs 15-crore. The company lost two brand new Komori press, one secondhand KBA, in-house CTP, post-press equipment, paper and chemicals in the fire.
After the fire was doused, Delhi government officials and the fire department have sealed off the factory. The building has been so severely damaged that it will need to be reconstructed entirely.
However, this should not hamper the company’s production and supply of books as Kaveri has another complete book printing facility in Noida.