Accident: A single-storey storehouse near Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang was razed by a fire on the evening of November 26. The store belonged to Samdhen Guesthouse.

The fire started at around 4:30pm when the owner was in his shop at Chamkhar. The owner’s daughter who was at the guesthouse alerted authorities. The fire could not be contained despite efforts by the police and neighbours. Two fire engines were deployed.

Owner of Samdhen guesthouse, Karma Tsheltrim, 51, said two of his guesthouse employees were living in the storehouse and one was on leave that day. “They were not cooking, neither do they use electric heaters,” he said.

He said he stocked mattresses, blankets, beds and other items required for the guesthouse’s operation. Drivers and tourist guides also usually stay in the store house as it had four rooms, he said.

The person who was living in the storehouse said the fire could have started because of a short circuit, as no electrical appliances are used. Authorities are yet to determine the cause of the fire.

People living near the guesthouse said there was also a pile of wood stacked between the guesthouse and the store. Observers said efforts were successful in preventing the fire from spreading to the guesthouse.

Karma Tsheltrim said the fire destroyed property worth Nu 1.3M excluding the storehouse infrastructure. He said he had stored construction metals, CGI sheets and floor tiles which could not be removed in time.

The fire also killed five Swiss-breed puppies. One puppy managed to escape.

This is the first fire incident in Bumthang this year.

Nima Wangdi | Chamkhar