Four people including a police constable were charred to death and 11 others sustained severe burns after a fire broke out in a local hotel near General Bus Stand area in Jammu city during wee hours of Saturday morning.
One of the deceased has been identified by police as Selection Grade Constable Rakesh Kumar of Kishtwar. He was presently posted at Rajouri, police said, adding that he may have checked in the hotel for an overnight stay so as to catch a vehicle for his place of posting in the morning.
Though the identity of the other three deceased is being ascertained, sources said that they too appear to be people who may have come to the city in connection with some work from neighbouring districts. The injured have been admitted in the Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu.
The fire started around 2.30 am from a store on the ground floor of the hotel building, where vehicle tires had been kept. Pointing out that the hotel owner was also a local transporter, sources said fire soon engulfed the entire hotel building catching the inmates unaware.
The fire tenders and police parties reached the spot and brought out those trapped in the hotel. Senior police and civil officers also reached there to supervise rescue operations.