A massive fire, which broke out from a private house in Ranke Bazar along the Mechi Highway, engulfed at least 11 houses in the market area on Wednesday morning (November 5, 2014). Although no one was injured in the incident, police have estimated a property loss of at least Rs 50 million.
The fire had started at 8 am and had already destroyed nine houses by the time a fire engine reached the spot. It engulfed additional two houses as locals and fire brigades continued their attempt to control the fire. It it did not take long for the houses to get burnt down since they were made of wood.
Ranke Bazar that lies between Panchthar and Ilam is the market hub for scores of villages from both the districts. According to Pradeep Raj Kandel, chief district officer (CDO) of Panchthar district, seven of the burnt houses lie in Panchthar district and the rest in Ilam.
He said that the fire also burnt down 20 shops including groceries and wholesale stores. Eleven houses were fully damaged and nine other partially in the fire.