Man dies of burns in freak incident at Maradu

A man died of burn injuries after he probably got caught in a fire he had allegedly set to a house at Maradu following a long-running financial dispute with the house owner on Tuesday around 6 a.m.

The deceased was identified as Prasannan, 45, of Champakkara. The four-member family who got trapped in a bathroom on the first floor of the house was rescued by Fire and Rescue Services personnel.

“We found a man with severe burn injuries in the space between the car porch and the gate. We summoned an ambulance and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries,” said a firefighter. Initially, the victim was unidentified.

The fire force was met with a raging fire in the car porch and the adjoining room probably after the old furniture dumped in the porch caught fire. The houseowner, Suneer, dealt in old furniture.

But before the firefighters could fully focus on dousing the fire, local people alerted them that the family of four in the house had been trapped inside the bathroom.

“We approached the bathroom through the sunshade and found the family in the bathroom, which was slowly getting engulfed in smoke. We placed an extension ladder on the sunshade and then cut the iron rod of the ventilator using a hydraulic cutter since rescuing the family, including two young children, through the door was not possible,” said the firefighter.

Initially, the 14-year-old girl was rescued followed by her mother, 12-year-old boy and then the father.

By the time, the firefighters fully doused the fire, the car in the porch was fully gutted so as the porch and the adjoining room. Though fully engulfed in smoke, the rest of the home was largely unaffected.

“Prasannan, a lottery vendor, was also into giving credit and reportedly had a feud with Suneer over the past four years over some unpaid debts. We suspect that Prasannan had set Suneer’s house on fire in vengeance. There are eyewitnesses who had seen him going with some kind of fuel in the morning,” said Maradu police sources. However, a section of the local people wondered whether it was a case of self-immolation though the police didn’t back that theory. The police have registered a case for unnatural death.

Two units each from Thripunithura and Gandhi Nagar fire stations led by Thripunithura station officer K. Shaji laboured for around two hours before the fire could be fully doused.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 3:01:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/man-dies-of-burns-in-freak-incident-at-maradu/article36969726.ece

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