SIRAHA, April 28: A fire that broke out at Shivanagar Tole, Bariyarpati-8 in southern Siraha on Saturday afternoon gutted around 350 houses.
The fire that started from a heap of hay at Jogan Yadav´s house at around 12:30 in the afternoon spread to the densely populated area due to strong winds and was taken under control only at five in the afternoon.
There was, however, no human casualty in the fire with only one Rekha Sundari Yadav, 45, injured while trying to take the fire under control, according to Siraha Police. She is undergoing treatment at the district hospital.
A fire engine from Lahan had reached the village two hours later but it developed some problems while going to fill water from a nearby pond. The fire was taken under control only after another fire-engine arrived from Rajbiraj.
Armed Police Force (APF) personnel from the nearby Bariyarpati Base Camp, Nepal Police and locals had tried to douse the fire before the fire engines arrived, but to no avail. Police said the fire may have been triggered by ashes dumped near the heap of hay by Yadav´s family after cooking the lunch. Houses and cattle sheds of 109 families have been destroyed in the fire. Five houses of Tenuwapati-5 were also gutted in the fire. Most of the houses were thatched.
The fire had started when the men in the village were out for work with just women and children left behind. “People started to cry for help but we had to remain mere spectators,” Jaleshwar Yadav, a local, said. “We had to helplessly watch our belongings and food grains burn,” said Bindeshwar Yadav.
They villagers have been forced to stay under the open sky after the fire.
Chief District Officer (CDO) Dhruba Prasad Dhakal put the material damage at around Rs 20 million. Shrinath Battalion of the Nepal Army at Chauharba distributed 50 kilograms of sugar and two quintals beaten rice to the victims later in the day.
Fire in jute mill
Meanwhile, properties worth around Rs 30 million were destroyed in the fire at Swastik Jute Mill in Biratnagar Saturday afternoon, reports our correspondent Khilanath Dhakal.
SWASTIK JUTE MILL
Three machines costing around Rs 12.5 million were completely destroyed while another machine was damaged in the fire that broke out at around 2:45 in the afternoon due to sparks in a running machine. Similarly, finished jute worth around Rs 15 million was also destroyed. Mill operator Ramesh Rathi said material loss was massive due to delay in the arrival of fire engines.
Security persons from Kankali and Dangraha APF Battalions, Nemuwa Police, Morang Police and factory laborers took the fire under control around two hours later, according to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Uma Prasad Chaturvedi. The factory established 11 years ago produces jute worth around Rs 360 million every year.