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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Home alone, toddler charred

- Fire engulfs bamboo hutments at kailashnagar

Dec. 27: A two-and-a-half-year-old girl was charred to death after a fire broke out in a house at Kailashnagar under Hatigaon police station this afternoon.

The incident took place around 2.30pm today when a fire broke out in a bamboo hut belonging to Musfia Sultana, a resident of Kailashnagar.

The fire spread fast and completely damaged nine rooms with bamboo walls and tin roofs, which were given on rent.

The girl, Ismin Tara, who was sleeping in one of the rooms, was burnt alive before fire tenders reached the spot.

According to officials at Dispur fire station, nine bamboo huts were completely razed in the fire. The toddler died as she was alone at home and her parents were out on work.

“We received the call around 2.40pm and immediately rushed to the spot. We sent another two fire tenders, but the fire spread very fast as the houses were made of bamboo and wood. Locals tried to douse the fire, but in vain,” a source said.

The girl’s father, Sadek Ali, is a carpenter and was out on work and her mother is a daily wage earner.

“Out of the nine rooms, five rooms were given on rent and the other four rooms were vacant. The tenants are migrant labourers who stay in the house at night and work in different places of the city during the day,” the source said.

Fire-fighters said although the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, the landlady, Musfia Sultana, suspected sabotage.

“When we spoke to the landlady, she suspected that someone might have torched the houses. However, she could not name the suspects. We have started a probe to ascertain the exact cause of fire,” the source said.

The girl’s body was handed over to her family at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital after post-mortem.

The houses were completely gutted and four other tenants said their household goods were reduced to ashes.

“Although the exact financial loss of the fire was yet to be calculated, the five tenants complained that the loss would be around a Rs 1 lakh,” the source said.

The fire fighters struggled for more than two hours to control the blaze.

People living in the nearby houses shifted their household goods fearing that the fire might spread.

“I was sitting in a nearby tea stall and rushed to the house after I saw the black smoke,” a local resident said.