A fire gutted 16 rooms, a dinning hall, a conference hall, a kitchen and an altar of a hotel in Bumthang on the night of March 14.

The hotel owner’s residence and another one-storey house with 10 rooms in front of the gutted hotel was saved.

Known as Hotel Home, it is located above the Bhutan Oil Distributor (BOD) fuel depot, which is 200 metres from Chamkhar towards Trongsa.

The owner could not save anything, as the flames were out of control when firefighters reached the hotel. A police patrolling team first detected the fire.

Eyewitnesses said they saw flames burning on the roof.

Police, desuups including the dzongdag, foresters and neighbours were able to contain the fire before it spread to other nearby structures.

The hotel was empty and locked when the incident took place. The hotel owner’s father, who usually lived there had gone to his village in Domkhar on the morning of March 14.

The hotel’s owner Pema Khando, who was living in his other hotel in Chamkhar town, said one of his neighbours called him while he was sleeping saying that there was a fire near his hotel. “I immediately woke up and rushed to find my hotel in flames.”

He said fire engines saved his residence and the remaining rooms, as the fire engines worked efficiently. There was one fire engine from the RBP and one from Bathpalathang airport.

People continued mopping up the fire till yesterday evening.

The cause of the fire is unknown and police officials said they are investigating.

Nima Wangdi | Chamkhar