GUWAHATI/SUALKUCHI, Aug 22 - A pall of gloom descended on Sualkuchi in Kamrup district after three members of a family died due to asphyxiation caused by a fire that broke out late last night in a multistorey building located at the Bazar Chowk area of the town.
The fire on the ground floor of Achyut Plaza on the SM Road due to electrical short-circuit created a lot of smoke and subsequently engulfed the entire building, including the floor where the family was staying.
Three of the six-member family � Lohit Kakoty (65), his daughter Kabita Mahanta (32) and her one-and-a-half-year-old son Mayukh Dev Mahanta � were declared brought dead by doctors in Guwahati this morning. The other three � Kakoty�s wife Anupama Kakoty, younger daughter Juri Bharali and her son Parthiv Bharali � are being treated at a private hospital.
�All the six members of the family were apparently subjected to excessive smoke inhalation, which caused severe respiratory problems,� officials of the State Fire Service Organization stated.
�The garment-cum-silk yarn store on the ground was apparently the starting point of the fire. From what we have seen prima facie, all the six persons tried their best to make their way out but failed due to excessive choking,� sources said.
Fire service officials said that although the intensity of fire was not very high, the smoke kept on building, something which was evident even several hours after the evacuation.
Meanwhile, locals said that some of the morning walkers spotted smokes billowing out of the building which is when they raised an alarm.
Lohit Kakoti, who according to eyewitnesses was still breathing, was first taken to the primary health centre of Sualkuchi.
�Unfortunately, the health centre lacked adequate facilities, especially oxygen support that was the need of the hour. Later, after being taken to Guwahati, he was declared dead,� locals alleged.
Goods worth a sizeable amount of money were also damaged in the fire.