A labourer with his wife and their son and daughter were sleeping in the house when the fire erupted at Lakpada in Atharabanki area in the wee hours, Additional Superintendent of Police Madhabananda Sahu said.
Around 55 thatched houses belonging to about 25 families were gutted in the blaze which was controlled with the help of two fire tenders, Additional district Magistrate (Paradip), R K Sahu said The deceased labourer, identified as Satrughna Mohapatra, had moved to the area recently, he said adding that the family members apparently failed to move out as the inferno spread swiftly.
Food and other immediate assistance were being provided to the affected people, mostly labourers working in Paradip Port and other industrial units in the area and fishermen, the ADM said.
Efforts were on to ascertain the cause of the fire, police said. The unauthorised thatched houses in the colony had come up in the area belonging to Paradip Port Trust (PPT), officials said.