At least 13 families affected

Disaster: A fire during the early hours in Bajo yesterday destroyed a two-storey traditional house, and four one-storey houses.

At least 13 families comprising of nine tenants and four house owners have been affected by the fire.

One side of a three-storey building, which houses the Bhutan National Bank in Bajo was also damaged by the fire.

The fire that was reported to have started at around 2:45am took more than three hours to contain.

Officials sources said that the police were informed late, and by the time fire fighters had reached the site, all the houses had caught fire and were almost destroyed.

Police sources said the fire could have been caused by a short circuit. The first person who spotted the fire informed police that it began from a metre box. Bhutan Power Corporation was informed immediately and power lines were shut down.

Police, army personnel, the security wing of the Punatsangchhu projects, Desuups, dzongkhag officials, locals and other volunteers helped contain the fire.

The father of one of the house owners said that his son and family had to jump from behind the house to escape the fire. A helper at his son’s place suffered minor injuries.

He said the family lost all their belongings in the fire along with some machines. The tenants also managed to escape the fire but couldn’t save any belongings.

Wangdue Dzongkhag handed His Majesty The King’s semso and emergency kit bag to all the affected 13 families. The semso and kit bags were issued according to the size of the family.

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag administration is also preparing a relief shelter for the affected families at the vegetable market below Bajo town.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue