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16-yr-old dies in grocery shop fire

Ranchi, May 26: A Class X student of Brahmacharya Sangh Vidyapeeth was charred to death in his makeshift grocery shop near Ranchi railway station last night.

Sixteen-year-old Vivek Mishra was sleeping in his wooden stall, when it caught fire. The spot is about 300m away from Ranchi station, under Chutia police station area.

The incident took place around 1am as the boy slept in the shop after locking it from inside. While the reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, preliminary investigations said it could be a mosquito repellent coil that had been burning inside, or a lantern, as the shop did not have electricity connection.

Asha Devi, who lives next to the shop, was the first to notice the fire. “I saw the flames when I got up at night to have water. At first I thought that the fire was in my own house. But then I realised what had happened and raised an alarm,” she said.

Though locals rushed to save the boy they knew was inside, they were unable to put out the fire. By the time fire brigade arrived, it was too late. Vivek’s charred body was recovered from the debris.

The teenager’s mother, Nirmala Devi, was inconsolable. “He first went to sleep beside me last night. But later, fearing theft, he went to sleep in the shop,” she cried.

Vivek’s father Basudeo is a private guard. The family started the grocery shop six years ago to supplement its income.

“After they opened the shop, Vivek took over its running to support his father. The family’s living condition improved because of Vivek’s hard work,” said neighbour Pinki Devi.

Officer-in-charge, Chutia, Raj Kapoor said the body had been sent for postmortem.

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