Family of five killed in house fire in Kerala's Varkala

The fire broke out in the house of Prathapan, who was a wholesale vegetable dealer in Puthenchantha.

Published: 08th March 2022 10:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2022 10:41 AM   |  A+A-

The house where the fire broke out at Panthuvila, Cherunniyoor near Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram . ( Photo | EPS)

The house where the fire broke out at Panthuvila, Cherunniyoor near Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram . ( Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

A fire tore through a two-storied home, killing five people, including an eight-month-old toddler, at  Ayanthiyil near Varkala in the wee hours of Tuesday.

The fire broke out in the house of Prathapan, who was a wholesale vegetable dealer in Puthenchantha. Prathapan, 64, his wife Sherly, 53, son Akhil, 25, daughter-in-law Abhirami, 24, and Abhirami's eight-month-old child Rayan were killed in the blaze.

Abhirami's husband Nikhil is critically injured and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in  Thiruvananthapuram.  The Fire and Rescue officials said the fire broke out by 1.45 am. One of the
neighbours first spotted the fire and smoke billowing from the house and immediately alerted Nikhil over the phone. However, the family members could not be rescued.

The Fire and Rescue Technical Director M Noushad said the fire could have erupted from the TV hall due to a short circuit. "The fire could have erupted due to a short circuit. The circuit breaker did not trip
and the fuses did not blow. That means the electric system did not work properly," he said.

All the bedrooms had air conditioners, false ceilings and curtains and that worsened the scenario, the Fire and Rescue officials said. Prima facie it appeared that the deaths occurred due to smoke poisoning.

" The family members, it seems, were stuck in their rooms and could not come out. Because of false ceilings and heavy curtains, air circulation was poor in the bedrooms. Abhirami and her child were
found dead in the bathroom. They could have tried to escape the smoke by entering the bathroom. But in that bathroom also, there was no window," said a source.

The theory that the fire broke out in the car porch where bikes were parked did not find traction with the fire and rescue officials. The reason was that out of three bikes parked there, only two were damaged. Had the fire erupted in the porch, tyres of the bikes could have exploded. But no such incident was reported, the fire and rescue officials said.

The police, led by Range DIG R Nishanthini, also conducted an inspection of the house. Forensic experts also paid a visit. The bodies have been moved to the Medical College hospital for autopsy.



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