Four persons were killed and 23 were injured, including fire service officials, in a fire at a building in Old Dhaka's Armanitola area early today.
One of the deceased was identified as Sumaiya Akhter (22), a second-year student of Eden College who lived with her family on the third floor of the building, said Abdul Halim, assistant director of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence.
One other deceased was the security guard of the building whose name could not be known yet.
Fire service officials recovered bodies of two more men who are yet to be identified, from the fourth floor while searching through the building around 11am, said Babul Mia, fire service duty officer.
Fire service officials rescued around 15 residents of the building including children and a pregnant woman on arrival, Abdul Halim said adding that locals and volunteers also managed to get several people out of the building through broken windows of different floors.
The injured were rushed to Sir Salimullah Medical College and Hospital initially. Sumaiya was declared dead by doctors of the hospital.
The 23 injured including four fire service officials, were shifted to Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery where they are undergoing treatment, said Dr Samanta Lal Sen, chief coordinator of the institute who also added that three of the injured were in ICU.
Nineteen units of fire fighters brought the blaze under control after frantic attempts for around two hours, said Mahfuz Reeben, duty officer at fire service control room.
The fire broke out at a chemical storage on the ground floor of the six-storey building around 3:15am, said Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hussain, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence.
The firefighters managed to contain the blaze on the ground floor, said Abdul Halim. Most of the injured fell ill due to inhaling of smoke.
The reason behind the fire can be determined after investigation, Abdul Halim added.