Hazaribagh, March 29: Four children, aged between two and five years, died in a fire at their house in Giridih’s Rajdhanwar block this morning.
Mohammad Tahir (5), Jakir (3), Kitaban (3) and Barni (2) were related to each other. A fifth child, five-year-old Shahid, was also playing in the same room with the others. But he managed to escape.
Brothers Mohammad Manzar, Mohammad Alauddin and Mohammad Sarfaraz live at the double-storeyed house at Barjo village, around 42km from Giridih district headquarters, with their children. Around 10am, Manzar’s sons Tahir and Jakir, Alauddin’s daughter Kitaban, Sarfaraz’s daughter Barni and son Shahid were playing in a room on the first floor when a fire suddenly broke out at an adjacent room where straw was kept.
“The flames soon spread to the room where the children were playing. Everything happened so quickly that the elders, who were on the ground floor, didn’t know anything till Shahid ran out and alerted them,” said a local resident.
Neighbours rushed to help and got three water pumps to douse the flames, but in vain. Subdivisional officer Bhogendra Thakur along with circle officer Anil Kumar, block development officer Nirmal Kumar Toppo and Rajdhanwar officer-in-charge Anil Kumar also reached the spot.
But they could not gain access to the children’s room. An earthmover was brought in, which broke down a portion of the wall from outside. But all four were dead by then.
“Straw catches fire when it is too hot. The bodies have been sent to sadar hospital for autopsy,” said OC Kumar.