Fire at Dobhan Bazaar, Taplejung, destroys four dozen housesFifty-five families have been rendered homeless in the incident and properties worth millions destroyed.
A massive fire that broke out at Dobhan Bazaar in Meringden Rural Municipality-3, Taplejung, destroyed around four dozen houses on Tuesday. Fifty-five families have been rendered homeless in the incident.
Ganesh Chongwang Limbu, chairman of the rural municipality, said that 49 houses belonging to 33 families were destroyed in the inferno. According to him, the houses destroyed in Tuesday’s fire had at least one shop each.
The fire started from the house of Bhola Paudel at around 8:35am, local residents say. Paudel sustained minor burn injuries and is receiving treatment at the district hospital, said police.
“We saw flames on the second floor of Paudel’s house. The fire spread in the clustered settlement soon after,” said Sabin Chudal, a local trader who lost his shop to the fire. Almost all the houses in the area were made of mud, stone and wood with zinc sheet roofs.
There are 87 houses in Dobhan Bazaar, a local market place. The incident site is about 17 km west of Phungling, the district headquarters of Taplejung.
The personnel of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force as well as the local residents contained the fire at around noon with the help of two fire trucks. A few houses had to be dismantled using an excavator to stop the fire from spreading further.
“We are coordinating with the rural municipality and the district administration to assess the damage caused by the inferno. The actual figure of damage will be known by tomorrow [Wednesday],” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Balnarsingh Rana. According to him, security personnel could not collect data on Tuesday, as they were busy containing the fire and managing the displaced people.
Police estimate that properties worth millions of rupees were destroyed in the disaster. “Dobhan Bazaar is an important trade hub in the area. There were shops selling food grains, clothes, hardware and jewellery. The local residents have suffered a significant loss of properties,” said Taranath Ghimire, the chairman of Taplejung Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The displaced families are now taking shelter at their neighbours’ houses and under makeshift tents. The rural municipality has decided to provide Rs 15,000 each to the displaced families as immediate relief.
“The fire has displaced 33 house owners and 22 other families who were operating shops in the bazaar area. The local unit will coordinate with other government authorities to provide them relief,” said Limbu.
Incidents of massive fire are quite frequent in Taplejung, a mountain district of Province 1. As many as 41 houses were destroyed in a fire at Tokmedanda six years ago.