Three people, including a minor, died and two others were injured after a fire broke out at a shoe factory at Ankurhati in West Bengal’s Domjur region on Wednesday.
Police sources said they believed the fire erupted at 3am after a short circuit in the first floor of Axton Footware, which is owned by Fahim Ahmed (49) of Kolkata. The blaze then slowly engulfed the second and third floor, where the five people were sleeping. The deceased have been identified as Abhishek Yadav (8), Joy Prakash Yadav (22) and Jhoku Yadav (24).
Police said the trio died due to suffocation and were in their sleep when the fire broke. Five fire engines were rushed to the spot. Fire department officials said when they reached the spot a plume of smoke was billowing out of the building and it took more than two hours to control the inferno.
A police and fire services team rescued five people from the factory and three of them died on their way to Domjur hospital. “Kamlesh Yadav (38) and Indu Devi (30) are under treatment. They received minor injuries. The other three people, including an eight-year-old child died due to suffocation,” an official said.
Police said Kamlesh was an employee of the factory, while the others were his relative who had come to visit him. Since they didn’t find accommodation nearby, Kamlesh allowed them to sleep inside the factory.
“The exact cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. Excessive use of leather and few other materials like cardboards and plastic materials appeared to have helped the fire spread. The factory allegedly had no fire-alarm system. The incident is being probed. The dead bodies have been sent for post mortem,” the official said.