…Only 15 chairs and two tables saved

Neten Dorji | Trashigang

A fire razed Phongmey gewog office in Trashigang to the ground yesterday morning. No casualties were reported.

A resident, Namgay, was the first person to see the gewog office on fire. He reported the incident to gewog mangmi, who reported it to police.

Namgay said he saw thick smokes from the gewog office. “I immediately called the mangmi and neighbors.”

Phongmey gewog office

Phongmey gewog office

He said when he returned after calling the mangmi and neighbors, the fire already raged the roof. “We couldn’t do anything, as there was no water nearby the gewog office.”

Fire engine from Trashigang reached the gewog an hour and 27 minutes after the incident was reported at 4:30am. It helped in containing the fire on the ground floor and nearby structure.

Mangmi Tshering Gyeltshen said when he reached the gewog, the upper floor was already raged by fire. “We could only save 15 chairs and two tables from the ground floor.”

He said they lost all documents and office stationery from the upper floor. “I am worried about the gewog audit. We don’t have a single document.”

He said refuted fake news on social media that someone has intentionally set the gewog office on fire. “When I reached the gewog, the door was still locked. It’s not possible to set fire.”

Local residents also claimed electrification was not done properly in the office and there were incidences of electric shortcircuit in the past.

Meanwhile, Trashigang police officials said they suspect electric shortcircuit to have caused the fire. The property damaged by fire was estimated to be more than Nu 60 million.