Fire: A fire razed three traditional houses, the attics of two other buildings, and caused a traditional house to be dismantled to create a firebreak in Mongar yesterday.
There were no human casualties.
The fire started from the attic of a two-storey traditional building near Namgay Hotel above the children’s park in Mongar town, located close to the fuel depot, at around 4pm.
When Mongar’s lone fire-fighting truck arrived at the site, gas cylinders exploded spreading the fire to adjacent houses.
About half a dozen cylinders exploded as the fire continued to consume the homes one after another, jumping to a row of houses next to Neulee Hotel and the choeten.
Residents panicked and threw their belongings out onto the road. Many even left the town with whatever they could manage to fit into their vehicles fearing an explosion if the nearby fuel depot caught fire.
His Majesty The King’s representative to the eastern dzongkhags, HRH Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck spearheaded efforts to contain the fire with armed forces personnel, Desuups, civil servants, students, residents and volunteers.
Dismantling one of the smaller traditional buildings stopped the fire from spreading to more than a dozen houses along the Thimphu-Trashigang highway.
Two water tankers and an excavator of Gongphel Construction helped the lone fire fighting truck and the municipal water tanker in battling the fire.
Fire-fighting trucks from the Kurichhu project in Gyelpoizhing, Trashigang, and Lhuentse arrived to help douse the fire.
The two houses that lost their attics were concrete buildings. Residents suspect that a gas leak from an LPG cylinder caused the fire.
HRH Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck granted tokha to the victims yesterday and also arranged shelter for the victims of the fire.
The dzongkhag administration issued tarpaulin sheets to residents and shopkeepers to cover their belongings from the rain that began after the fire was brought under control.
Volunteers and fire fighters helped in moving back belonging into those houses that escaped the fire.
One of the residents and SRS tshongkhang owner, Tshewang Dorji, said that only half of his goods could be saved.
The Mongar Police Superintendent said that fire fighters would keep watch through out the night and that fire-fighting trucks are on stand by.
Tashi Phuntsho and Tshering Palden