Kullu, Apr 21: One person was burnt alive and his wife suffered burn injuries in a devastating fire in a village near the famous tourist resort of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, police today said.
The deceased was identified as Thakur Lal who was sleeping in a shop when the incident occurred. Six makeshift shops and the adjacent boys hostel of Himalayan Buddhist Cultural School were also gutted in the fire causing loss of property worth several lakhs of rupees.
The police said Thakur's wife, Aabhagi Padama, who suffered burn injuries while trying to save her husband, had been admitted to a nearby government hostel.
The cause of the fire was, however, not immediately known, the police said and added that it intensified due to explosions in two cooking gas cylinders kept in one of the shops.
The fire reduced to ashes the shops and the hostel in no time after it started at about 1700 hrs yesterday evening. Fire personnel battled fierce flames for over two hours before putting the blaze off.
The police said six families, comprising 35 people staying in these shops, and about 100 hostel students were rendered homeless due to the fire.
Manali SDM Vinay Singh Thakur announced an immediate cash relief of Rs 10,000 to the next of the dead and promised cash relief to the affected families as per the state's relief manual.
He said a case has been registered and investigations were on in the incident.