India — A wild bush fire that spread fast towards Charangching Khunkha, Hnatham and Panchai village in Chandel district yesterday not only created panic among the people but left the Hnatham Baptist Church building and the office cum store room reduced to ashes at around 1:30 pm yesterday.
In the inferno one house was destroyed at Charangching Khunkha and a former Chief of Hnatham identified as Samuel Khumlo sustained 23 percent burnt injuries while trying to save the village from the fire.
He was evacuated to RIMS, Imphal for further treatment after giving first aid.
One Maruti Alto car bearing regn No MN01K 3859, belonging to Samuel Khumlo also partially damaged by the fire.
When a media team reached Hnatham, thousands of panic stricken villagers and people from the surrounding villages who came to help were seen evacuating goods from the houses and at same time trying to douse the raging fire spread fast toward the village.
But inspite of their great effort, the wild fire leaped up its flames and spread toward Charangching Khunkha, Hnatham and Panchai village, all neighbouring villages located within close distance from the main town’s Japhou Bazar.
On getting the information, fire service personnel from the station located at Hnatham village who were also assisted by one fire tender from Imphal, water tankers from 20 AR, 8th MR Leikun and from SP Chandel rushed into to put off the fire.
Later while briefing media, Chief of Hnatham village Wl Thungam and Pastor Rt Chumboi informed that the Church building and office cum store room with a property worth Rs 80 lakhs were destroyed in the fire.
The Chief expressed resentment over the inability of the fire service personnel to save the Church building even though the fire service station is located at Hnatham village just 300-400 yards away from the Church building.
He also informed that the fire had damaged all timbers and planks worth around Rs 40,000 which were kept for extension of the village community hall have been consumed by the wild fire.
At Charangching Khunkha, the house of one Samson Shilsi (45) was burnt to ciders destroying properties worth around Rs 4 lakhs.
Meanwhile, severl socia organisations including Anal Naga Tangpi (ANTA), Anal Lenruwl Tangpi (ALT) and Chandel Naga People’s Organisation, while sharing the pain and sorrow of the fire affected victims, have drawn the attention of the State Government for providing necessary relief.