Five members of a family, including a toddler, who were asleep in their house, were found charred to death at Dalavapuram in Varkala, about 45 km away from the state capital, in the small hours on Tuesday.
An accidental fire outbreak was suspected to be the reason for the accident. The exact cause could be ascertained only after receiving the reports of electrical and forensic experts, police said. The charred bodies were found in various rooms of the two-storied house, they said.
Another member of the family was rushed to a nearby hospital and was put under ventilator support as his condition was said to be critical. According to locals, fire and smoke were billowing from the porch in front of the house in the wee hours. Though they tried to alert the family members, there was no response.
The fire force personnel, who rushed to the spot, managed to break open the door on the rear side of the house and entered the building which was engulfed in thick black plumes of smoke. Range DIG, R Nishanthini inspected the house and said the living rooms on the ground floor and the upstairs were gutted completely.
"Prima facie, we could not find anything suspicious. The forensic and electric experts have arrived and we can say anything conclusive only after receiving their reports. As per the CCTV visuals, the fire break was spotted by 1.15 am. Local people said that fire and smoke was found billowing from the car porch," she told reporters.
Fire force department sources said a short circuit might be the reason for the fire, while the air-conditioned rooms, lack of proper ventilation and false ceiling boards made of gypsum might have aggravated the danger.
Smoke inhalation could be the reason for the tragic death of the hapless family members, they added. The bodies were shifted to the Thiruvananthapuram medical college for autopsy, and a comprehensive probe was launched.
With PTI inputs.