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By A Newsman
Malda, 18 March: AS many as 80 houses have been reduced into ashes in a devastating fire at a village in Malda district.
The fire has rendered some 500 people homeless at a time when the weather office has forecast hailstorm in isolated parts of north Bengal over the next 48-hours.
The affected people at Gobindapur village under Ratua police station in Malda said that the fire started around 11 am today from an electrical post in the village. In no time, the flames engulfed one after another households made of stalk, bamboo, tin, and mud.
Local gram panchayat member Abdul Rehman said that soon after the fire broke out, they alerted the fire service station at Ratua. “But the fire tenders arrived very late, and we tried to douse the raging flames by drawing water with shallow water pumps but to no avail.”
The fire has gutted everything ~ houses, food, cloths, furniture, domesticated animals ~ of at least 80 families.