Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar

An eight-year-old boy died when the semi- permanent house he was living in was razed to the ground by a fire in Samdrupjongkhar on January 6.

The incident occurred at around 10:25pm near the Bhutan Post office in Jomotshangkha.

According to sources, the deceased was at home with his two sisters and a friend. His father was away from home during the incident. The deceased was a class I student of Jomotshangkha middle secondary school.

Jomotshangkha did not have electricity or mobile network for the past few days due to windstorm and rain. The children lighted candle at night but forgot to put it off before they felt asleep.

“The fire is suspected to have started from the candlelight,” a source said, adding that the victim lost all the belongings worth about Nu 367,950 in the fire.

Meanwhile, Kuensel learned that the deceased slept in a separate room while his two sisters and a friend slept in a room together. The 13-year-old elder sister knew about the fire and took their five-year-old sister to safety after the deceased had refused when she tried to wake him. She went in again and brought her friend out of the house. She could not re-enter the house as the fire had spread all over it. She then shouted for help from the neighbours.

However, they could not contain the fire. One of the neighbours then informed the police. The police team along with the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) and drungkhag officials immediately arrived at the scene to battle the fire despite the scarcity of water and contained it.

The deceased’s sisters were evacuated to Jomotshangkha hospital as they have sustained first degree burns on their hands and are under medical observation.

The drungkhag administration provided emergency kits such as utensils, and other household items while the RBA provided the tent to the victim. Meanwhile, Samdrupjongkhar dzongdag handed over the Royal semso to the victim yesterday.