2 people dead, 15 huts gutted in Bengal slum fire

by IANS |

Kolkata, Jan 18 (IANS) Two people were killed and 15 huts gutted in a devastating fire on Wednesday at a slum in Mecheda in West Bengal's East Midnapore district .

The victims were identified as Gokul Kar (70) and his daughter Mallika Kar (40).

State fire department sources said that they were sleeping in one of the huts that came under the grasp of fire early Wednesday morning.

Witnesses told the fire service officers that both of them tried to escape and even the locals made an attempt to rescue them.

But the efforts failed and both died on the spot.

By the time the fire tenders reached the spot, as many as 15 huts in the slum located adjacent to the Mecheda bridge were completely gutted.

According to the witnesses, the probably cause of the blaze was from a coal-based cooking oven which was ignited at one of the gutted huts.

Since many of these huts had highly inflammable articles it aided the fire to spread fast, a fire officer said.

"That is why all the huts that came under the grasp of fire were totally gutted before two fire tenders reached the spot," he added.

Confirming the death of the two persons in the fire, the inspector-in-charge of the local police station, Imran Mollah also said that a total of 15 houses have been totally gutted because of the fire. "The bodies of the two had been recovered and sent for post-mortem," he added.

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