At least three Myanmar nationals were charred to death and nearly a dozen others sustained burns in a devastating fire that raged to ashes over 100 jhuggis at Narwal on the outskirts of Jammu city during wee hours of Saturday. The deceased included a woman and her two children. Pointing out that the injured were hospitalised, sources said that fire erupted around 12.30 am. The deceased woman’s husband was not at home at that time. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.
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By 8 am, a rubble of many a jhuggis was smoldering despite fire tenders having extinguished the fire during their night-long operation. Distraught residents were seen trying to retrieve whatsoever of their belongings they could find from under the debris.
The fire spread fast due to extensive use of wood in the construction of jhuggis which were connected to each other, sources said. Many people got caught in the fire as it broke out at a time when everybody was asleep. However, when they woke up due to the alarm raised by other residents, they could not find their way to escape due to thick smoke and fire having spread everywhere.
The area is inhabited by a large number of Myanmar refugees who have constructed jhuggis on state land. To check encroachment on their plots, many people have allowed them to stay on their land as well.