Five people, including an 8-month-old baby, were charred to death after a two-storied house in Varkala, caught fire at midnight. The deceased have been identified as Prathapan, (64), his wife Sherly,(53), younger son Akhil,(25), elder son’s wife Abhirami, (24) and eight-month-old grandchild Rayan. Meanwhile, the sole survivor, Nikhil, has been hospitalized and his condition is critical. The incident happened around 2 am.
The neighbours saw fire and smoke rising emanating from the house and immediately informed fire and rescue personnel. By the time they reached the place, the fire had engulfed the house completely. The rescue personnel had a tough time dousing off the fire. Two-wheelers on the front yard too caught fire. According to preliminary investigation, the short circuit is reported to be the reason for the fire. As per the officials’ report, the death could have occurred by inhaling the smoke from the fire.
Onlookers said that they first noted the fire when the two-wheelers caught fire. Neighbour Shashankan was the first person who saw the incident. He alerted other neighbours. Shanshankan’s son called up Nikhil and he informed that the house is on fire. Though Nikhil initially tried to come down from the top floor, he rushed back to rescue the baby, Shanshankan said. The reason behind the fire is not yet known. More details are awaited and a detailed enquiry on the incident is underway.