A fire in Kibri, Haa, razed five traditional houses to ground yesterday around 2:30AM.

No casualties were reported. The cause of the fire is not known but the residents suspect a short circuit.

Haa Dzongdag Kinzang Dorji said that a monk called him to report about the fire. “By 3AM, I reached the site. Our first priority was the safety of the people. We evacuated all people and domestic animals. Containing the fire was difficult as the five houses were adjoined but we could prevent the fire from spreading to other houses.”

There were about 15 people inside the houses when it caught fire. Residents said that the fire started from the house, which is at the end of the lane. A farmer Dago owns the house.

Works and human settlement minister, Dorji Choden and home minister Dawa Gyeltshen were at the site of the incident. Lyonpo Dorji Choden, the officiating prime minister handed over a semso of Nu 10,000 each to the households from the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon. Four houses were insured.

Another resident, Choden, woke to the screams of her neighbours. By the time she woke up, two houses had already caught fire.

“I took my 90-year-old mother outside first. I then took my sister who had just returned the night before from treatment in Thimphu.”

Kinzang Norbu, one of the residents, said that his house was in the middle. “The house was renovated on the old foundation about 20 years ago.”

He said that he’d gone to work when the incident occurred. He works at the Bhutan Power Corporation office in Paro and was on a night shift during the time of fire.

Dzongdag Kinzang Dorji said that immediate relief was provided to the victims of the fire. “By 6AM, all tents were pitched. Grocery items, emergency bags and disaster kits, and tarpaulin sheets were provided.”

He said that immediate service to the people were provided with the help from Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Bhutan Police, IMTRAT, Desuups, the regional officers, neighbours and volunteers. The fire could be contained only by around 11:00AM.

Rinchen Zangmo  | Haa