At least 35 houses were reduced to ashes in a fire at Hatoi village under Dhamnghar police limits late on Saturday.
Sources said fire broke out in one of the houses and soon spread in no time. Though none was hurt in the incident, the victims could hardly retrieve their belongings as they ran half-asleep to save their lives. The exact cause of the fire is yet to ascertained.
While villagers alleged that the fire fighters arrived late, the officials attributed the delay to narrow roads stretching 25 km.
Dhamnghar Tehsildar Ramesh Chandra Jena reached the spot along with other officials on Sunday morning. “We have provided polythene sheets, clothes and food to all the victims,” Jena said.
Besides, Dhamnghar Block Chairman Ashok Nayak visited the affected families and arranged for a week-long free kitchen. He assured them assistance for construction of houses under Mo Kudia Yojana.