Retired engineer killed in bizzare fire mishap

Retired engineer killed in bizzare fire mishap

70-yr-old man was suffering from dementia

Mishap: Public gathered in front of Govindappa’s house in J P Nagar on Monday. DH photo

Ironically, the tragedy took place even as his wife Sarojamma and son Prashanth, a City-based software engineer were busy celebrating the birthday of his (Govindappa’s) granddaughter at Vijayanagar.

Neighbours who noticed thick black smoke billowing out from the two-storeyed residence on 17th Main, J P Nagar at 5.30 pm, immediately informed the police control room.

However, by the time fire tenders rushed to the scene of the accident, the house was already engulfed in flames.

“ As per our initial investigation, Govindappa looks to have lit a cigarette or a beedi and kept it on the cloth sofa, setting it ablaze. He seems to have died due to suffocation that may have been caused by the thick smoke, that engulfed the house,” said a police officer at the scene of the incident.

The septuagenarian, who was reportedly suffering from age related dementia, was left alone by his family in the house, as they locked the main door from outside and went to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday at Vijayanagar. “The lock at the door of the house had to be broke open. The body was lying on the sofa and had about 30 to 40 percent burns,” the police said. Neighbours who spoke to Deccan Herald recalled Govindappa as a friendly person who usually kept to himself and suffered from diabetes and loss of memory.

“He could have been locked up by his family from outside to prevent him from venturing out and losing track,” explained neighbours.

Extensive damage

According to police the impact of the fire was such the drawing room, television and refrigerator were completely gutted. The ceiling fan chandelier had come crashing down.

Power supply was also cut off, probably because the circuit breaker got activated.

The body of Govindappa was shifted to the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) for a post mortem. The report is likely to be out on Tuesday. Unable to come to terms with the tragedy, the family of the retired engineer refused to speak to media and requested to be left alone. J P Nagar police are investigating.