An early morning fire in Subhash Colony Mathpara Bustee in north Kolkata’s Patipukur area killed two persons, including a minor girl, on Satruday. Around 20 dwellings were gutted in the incident. The cause of the fire is still unknown but victims claimed they first saw fire spreading from the roof of a house at extreme corner of the colony. “There are two possibilities. It might have been a cylinder blast or a spark from an outside source”, said a resident.
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As the fire spread, it caused an LPG cylinder at another house to explode.
Police, disaster management, fire brigade team and CESC officials rushed to the spot. Around 16 fire tenders were pressed into service. However, the roads leading upto colony were narrow forcing the vehicles to be parked on the opposite side of the Patipukur railway tracks, close to the area.
“Fire tenders were parked at Harikrishna Sheith Lane, the other side of the rail track. They did good job despite lack of space or else many more lives would have been lost”, said Shankar Bhattacharya an eye witness from the neighbouring colony.
Priya Adhikari (15) and her uncle Nimai Adhikari (25) died in the fire.
“The two deceased had received severe burn injuries and were declared brought dead at R G Kar medical college. The cause of fire and details of the extent of damages are yet to be ascertained”, said an official. According to police sources the fire was doused by 4.45 am.
Around 120 families were affected. Many had to spend the several hours of the early winter morning. “As a precaution, train services were halted for an hour on the line”, Eastern Railway CPRO told The Sunday Express.
The administration later arranged a temporary shelter for them at a nearby Government school.
“We all were sleeping suddenly I heard a weird sound. I opened my eyes and found everything burning. I shouted and we rushed towards the rail track. No one knew what to do. By the time we could inform fire brigade we had lost everything”, said Chiranjeet Mondal one of the victim who was the first one to call fire brigade.
“It’s an unfortunate incident .People are in panic as they have lost everything. I have been touch with administration. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been monitoring the situation through us. Financial support may be extended to the victims by our government and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). The land belongs to Railways, it is the biggest restrain whenever we want to do develop the area. After this incident I saw tremendous non-cooperation from railways which might be because they are a central agency and Bengal has TMC government”, Dr. Shantanu Sen councillor of ward number 3 of Kolkata Municipal area told The Sunday Express.