Purulia, February 22 :Seven people, including women and four children, of the same family died in a fire in West Bengal’s Purulia district late on Thursday night, police said on Friday.
According to initial reports, the fire took place when they were sleeping in Mahadebpur village under Para police station area, about 280km to the west of Kolkata.
Only a male member of the family, Kalipada Chowdhury, survived the fire and has been admitted to a hospital, police said. He was outside the hut when the fire but was injured when he rushed to save those trapped inside, they said.
Those who perished in the fire were Chowdhury’s wife, her two sisters, and four children, according to police. Their charred bodies were found in a field in the morning.
“We think the disaster happened around 12:30-1am. Seven, including children, have died. We are not sure about the cause of the fire,” said superintendent of Purulia district police, Akash Magharia.
The poor family used to live in the field inside a thatched hut made of bamboos and plastic sheets that helped the flames to engulf the entire structure quickly, officers said.
It is suspected that the fire was caused by a lamp or a stove.
The family used to collect date palm juice from trees in the fields and sell them.
Police have sent the bodies for post mortem.