Four of family charred to death in Jhapa

Jhapa, November 26

Four members of a family were charred to death in a fire that broke out at Laljhoda of Shivsatakshi Municipality, Jhapa, last night.

The blaze had engulfed Laxman Khanal’s  house of at 10:15 pm.

Laxman Khanal, 36, his wife Radhika Khanal, 30, daughter Supriya, 4, and three-month-old son Tikaram died in the fire, according to Inspector KailashRai of Area Police Office Jhiljhile.

“As the fire broke out when all members of the Khanal family were in deep asleep, it caused big human casualty,” Inspector Rai said.

The thatched house was fully destroyed. The bodies were completely burnt on the same cot. The bodies have been sent to Mechi Zonal Hospital Bhadrapur for autopsy, said DSP Mahendra Kumar Shrestha.

A government team comprising Jhapa Constituency No 4 lawmaker LP Sawa, Province lawmaker Jhalak Singh Darlami, Nayor Chandra Kumar Sherma, CDO Janakraj Dahal, SP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, among others, reached the incident today morning.

Province lawmaker Jhalak Singh Darlami said locals came to know about the fire when it engulfed the house from all four sides. They had tried everything possible to douse the fire. When they failed to put out the fire, they had called the firefighter and police. “When the firefighter that came from Gauradah doused the fire, locals found all four members of the family fully burnt on the same cot,” Darlami added.

Durga Nembang, a local,  said an LPG gas cylinder had exploded after fire engulfed the house. According to Nembang, a piece of the LPG cylinder had hit Gita Dhungel, 37, Khanal’s neighbour. An injured Dhungel has been taken to Biratnagar-based Nobel Hospital for treatment.

The firefighter had come from Gauradah in 15 minutes and had doused the fire.

According to Nembang, Laxman had tilled the field with a tractor till 9:00pm and had gone to bed after dinner. Khanal used to operate his own tractor. He had placed a thresher machine in front of the house. The machine was partially charred in the incident.

“Since all the members of the family died and neighbours came to know about the incident only after the fire had engulfed the house from all sides, the cause of the fire is not known,” said DSP Shrestha.  An investigation into the incident is under way, police said.