Kohima, Feb 9 (IANS): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his family narrowly escaped on Tuesday evening when a major fire broke out at their residence while they were sitting down to dinner, an official said."The Chief Minister and his family were inside the house. Fortunately, they escaped unhurt," Nagaland Additional Chief Secretary Alemtemshi Jamir told IANS.
Rio and his family members were about to start their dinner when the fire was detected at around 6.20 pm.
The fire brigade arrived at the spot and the blaze was doused by around 8 pm. The fire gutted about 30 to 40 percent of the official residence, said Abu Metha, press secretary to the Chief Minister.
"We have started investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire. However, preliminary investigations indicates that the cause of the fire could be a short-circuit in the kitchen," Kohima Superintendent of Police Rothilho Tetseo told IANS. He said the fire did not wholly destroy the structure. The wooden cottage, which had been the residence of almost all the Chief Ministers of the State, was built in 1963 after Nagaland attained Statehood.