Odishatv Bureau

Kandhamal: In a shocking incident, as many as 15 houses of five families were gutted after a fire broke out in Mardeju village of Phulbani block in Kandhamal district today.

As per eyewitnesses, the fire broke out when the family members were away for fetching mahula and firewood from the nearby forest, an old woman of their village had allegedly set fire to one of the house.

Petrified over the fire outbreak, villagers tried to douse the searing flames from spreading to nearby houses but eventually could not do so. Ultimately, they called for a fire brigade.

So far, there has been no information on any kind of casualty even as fire officials have been successful in containing the fire.

“All the houses have been completely gutted in the fire. Right now we cannot access the extent of damage, but mostly jungle items, food, daily use equipment are all destroyed," Chittaranjan Sahu Phulbani Fire Officer told media persons.

Narrating the saddening incident, Pratap Kanhar, a local resident, said he came to know about the fire after his kids apprised him about the incident while he was busy picking up mahula flowers. “Sadly, I hurried towards home but it was already over by then and my house was completely gutted in the fire," he added.

“We were not present in the house when the fire broke out so we do not know how it happened. We are very poor people and whatever paddy and food items we had stocked for the next one year, along with our cloths, cycle, and furniture, tuned to ashes.

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