A fire broke out on a houseboat at a jetty at Pallathuruthy, near here, on Sunday, destroying a portion of the four-bedroom vessel owned by the Alappuzha Tourism Development Cooperative Society.

The tourism police said the boat was at anchor waiting for tourists in the afternoon when the fire broke out on its kitchen side. Preliminary investigations showed that carelessness of the crew had led to the blaze.

The furniture aboard was shifted to safety by the crew. But the air-conditioners were engulfed by the flames. Two units of the Fire and Rescue Service from Alappuzha helped contain the fire.

A case has been registered. The preliminary loss is estimated at Rs. 10 lakh.

This is the fifth incident of fire on houseboats this year. Two months ago, a crewmember of a boat was killed in a fire. On October 28, another boat was gutted at Chackochan Jetty at Chennamkari and 23 passengers had a quick escape.

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