KATHMANDU: Property worth over Rs 50 million was gutted after house was engulfed in flames in Thamel, one of the busiest tourist hub, on Tuesday.
According to police, the fire broke out in the six-storey house belonging to Sunanman Sthapit at around 3:45am. The fire was allegedly sparked by short circuit in an electric water pump being operated on the first floor of the house. Eventually, oxygen gas cylinders stored by Pemba Dorje for the purpose of mountaineers caught fire which spread to the fourth floor of the house.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Malla, in-charge at Durbar Marg-based Metropolitan Police Circle, said fire-fighters reached the site within 10 minutes and took one hour to douse the fire. Firefighters from the Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Juddha Barun Yantra backed by six fire engines and the locals doused the inferno.
Firefighters had a tough time containing the inferno as the gas cylinders exploded. DSP Malla said cops rescued around 15 persons from the house. Adjoining houses were evacuated while fighting the fire.
According to police, the houses of Ajayratna Sthapit and Gautam Tuladha also suffered minor damage. Five persons received minor injuries as they fled in panic. Travel and trekking agencies were also being operated from the house.