Fire from oven razes 23 homes
Around 23 mud and brick houses of marginal farmers were destroyed in a fire that started from a clay oven at Kailashpur village in East Burdwan’s Kalna on Saturday morning.
A villager said Kachinoor Biwi, a homemaker, was cooking rice in a clay oven when a burning jute stick she had used to light the fire flew and set her thatched roof on fire.
He said a strong northern wind was blowing at that time and it helped the fire spread fast.
“The fire spread so fast to the adjoining houses that the residents could not take out their essentials, including cash and gold ornaments,” another villager said.
The fire services department was alerted but by the time the fire brigade arrived the villagers had put off the blaze. Twenty-three houses were razed to the ground.
Khurshed Sheikh, an onion farmer, said he had kept Rs 40,000 at his hut to buy seeds but the entire cash had been burnt.
“The flames spread so fast that I couldn’t run out with the money,” said an inconsolable Khurshed.
A villager claimed many of them had lost thousands of rupees in cash in the fire.
The BDO of Kalna-I, Sebanti Biswas, rushed to the spot and arranged tarpaulins and other relief materials for the affected families.
“All the affected households belonged to marginal farmers. We have supplied tarpaulins, rice and other relief packages from our relief fund. The local panchayat is also taking care of the 23 families and have set up tents for livestock,” said Biswas.
The chief of Kakuria gram panchayat, Reshma Begum, under which Kailashpur falls, said they were serving cooked food to the affected family members.
“The families need to be rehabilitated. I have already got in touch with the local administration and the MLA,” Begum said.