Fire breaks out at shoe factory, 3 dead; police suspect short circuit
Kolkata: Three persons of the same family suffocated to death after a fire broke out in a shoe factory at Ankurhati under Sankrail police station area in Howrah in the wee hours on Wednesday. Police suspect that the three persons might have inhaled poisonous gas emitted from a coil as well that they had lit up to keep away mosquitoes. Two of the family members were severely injured as they jumped from the roof of the building where the shoe unit was located.
The three bodies were recovered by firefighters from the office room of the shoe factory that is situated on the first floor of the building. The shoe unit is located on the ground floor. Police sources said the deceased has been identified as Jopu Yadav (40), Joy Prakash Yadav (22) and Abhisekh Yadav (14). The two injured — Kamalesh Yadav and Indu Yadav — who had jumped in a desperate bid to save themselves have been admitted to a nearby private nursing home with grievous injuries.
"We have recovered mosquito coils from the room. A post mortem along with forensic test will be carried out to find out the actual cause of death and the fire," a senior police officer said.
The fire officials suspect that a short circuit in the shoe unit might have resulted in the blaze and the fire coupled with smoke from the coil might have led to the death.
It is learnt that Kamlesh Yadav was an employee of the shoe factory who would often sleep in the office room on the first floor. The other family members had come from their native place in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday and had decided to stay along with Kamlesh in the office room.
The three who had died were sleeping inside a room that was locked from inside while Kamlesh along with his wife Indu was sleeping in the adjacent room. The family had plans to shift to another house on Wednesday.
The police, with the help of fire officials, broke open the door of the first floor office room after bringing the fire under control to find three of them lying motionless on the floor.
Five fire tenders that were pressed into service for extinguishing the flames took nearly two hours to bring the situation under control. Police informed that the factory has been completely gutted.