Fire crews, nearby residents and the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) battled a blaze which burned down a house and injured a man below the Thai Pavilion, a few meters away from Dema Lhakhang on February 23 evening. The fire was reported at 4:10 pm and was contained by 6.
Of the two inujuried household members, Sherab Dorji, 78, suffered third-degree burns after he was engulfed by the flames. Of the two occupants, both speech and hearing impaired, one escaped the fire. “The first thing I saw was a traffic policeman rescuing the old man from the flames,” said Pema Wangchen, an onlooker. Sherab, currently undergoing treatment at the National Referral Hospital is being looked after by health officials and neighbors
The cause of the fire was not determined as both victims were mutes. From information provided by neighbors and reliable sources, the police has ruled out any foul play and resolved that the fire must have sparked off from the traditional stove where Sherab was sitting. “The wounded was ill at the time of the fire and was, perhaps, lying by the fireplace,” said Major Wangdi Tshering of the RBP. “There is no record of valuables and everything else would have been lost as the entire house was burnt down”. A caretaker at the Dema Lhakhang, Karma, said the victims hno jobs and were now homeless.