The bodies of two children who have gone missing in the Them Mawbah house fire incident were discovered today by the forensic team of the police.
The siblings—aged about four and five years—were inside their house, situated at the top floor of the four-storey building, when the raging fire engulfed five homes made of wood and tins.
Their mother, Mamata Devi had recently enrolled them at Shree Kanchi Kamakoti Vidya Bharati Vidyalaya and was in looking forward to get their uniforms stitched.
Tenants staying in the building told Highland Post that most of them were at the ground floor to fetch water, including the mother of the children, who also had her four month old baby along with her.
“We only noticed that there was fire and it continue to grow massive. We did not hear anything that would catch our attention otherwise we could have acted quickly,” said one of them.
The tenants said the moment they realise that the two children were missing it was too late because it was then that the first LPG gas cylinder blasted. “A total of four cylinders blew off yesterday. My husband was heartbroken after he realised that there were two children stuck in the building because at that time he was making efforts to help other tenants vacate the building,” a tenant who stays in the third floor of the building said.
Sania Singh, a youth who was assisting all the elderly to vacate the building said that the fire was out of control and there was no chance of trying to save the children.
The wooden house on the fourth floor was let out to five families. Two families have gone out of Shillong for holidays while other two tenants were at work.
The fire was caused by suspected short circuit but a massive flame was also triggered by LPG gas cylinders. Due to the narrow lanes in the locality, fire and emergency services too had difficulty in entering, but efforts were put in to douse the flames.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma assured support to the families affected by the fire incident.
“It was a very tragic incident and a deep loss to the family members who could not save the children. So definitely the government will support in every possible way,” he said.