Varkala: Five members of a family, including a toddler, were charred to death at Dalavapuram in Kerala’s Varkala in a housefire here, about 45 kms away from the state capital, in the small hours of Tuesday.
The victims were identified as Prathapan alias Baby, 62, his wife Sherly, 53, their youngest son Akhil, 20, eldest daughter-law Abhirami, 29, and her eight-month-old son Rayan. The couple’s eldest son Nihul sustained serious burns.
An accidental fire outbreak was suspected to be the reason for the accident. The exact cause could be ascertained only after receiving the reports of electrical and forensic experts, police said.
The burnt bodies were found in various rooms of the two-storied house, they said.
Another member of the family was rushed to a nearby hospital and was put under ventilator support as his condition was said to be critical.
According to locals, fire and smoke was billowing from the porch in front of the house in the wee hours. Though they tried to alert the family members, there was no response.
The fire force personnel, who rushed to the spot, managed to break open the door on the rear side of the house and entered the building which was engulfed in thick black plumes of smoke.
Range DIG, R Nishanthini carried out an inspection in the house and said the living rooms on the ground floor and the upstairs were gutted completely.
“Prima facie, we could not find anything suspicious. The forensic and electric experts have arrived and we can say anything conclusive only after receiving their reports. As per the CCTV visuals, the fire break was spotted by 1.15 am. Local people said that fire and smoke was found billowing from the car porch,” she told reporters.
Fire force department sources said short circuit might be the reason for the fire while the air-conditioned rooms, lack of proper ventilation and false ceiling boards made of gypsum might have aggravated the danger.
Smoke inhalation could be the reason for the tragic death of the hapless family members, they added.
The bodies were shifted to the Thiruananthapuram medical college for autopsy and a comprehensive probe was launched.