Two dead in city chief’s hotel fire, staff hide their presence – the New Indian Express
PALAKKAD: Two people who were staying at the Hill View Tower Hotel in Nellipuzha in Mannarkad died of suffocation and two other guests were rescued after the building caught fire in the early hours of Friday.
Fire and rescue service personnel said they were told only two guests were staying at the hotel part-owned by Mannarkad City President C Mohammed Basheer at the time, and not of the deceased. The deceased – Mohammed Basheer, 58, from Thalakdathoor in Malappuram and Pushpalatha, 42, from Vilayur near Pattambi – were staying in rooms on the third floor of the hotel. The fire started at the reception of the restaurant on the ground floor of the three-story hotel at 3 a.m. All furniture and other fixtures on the floor were completely destroyed.
As smoke rose and filled the rooms on the upper floors, fire and rescue personnel were able to extinguish the blaze before it did any further damage. When the rooms were later inspected, two people were found dead on the third floor. Hotel workers told firefighters that there were only two guests in the rooms at the time and staff saved them both, they added.
Hotel owner Mohammed Basheer blamed the hour-long delay on the arrival of fire trucks for the deaths and damage. However, Mannarkad Fire Station Deputy Officer AK Govindan Kutty denied the charges and said he received the information at 3:20 am from the police station and arrived at the hotel in 3:25. It is believed that a short circuit was the cause of the fire. The losses remain to be estimated.