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Families lose entire homes to fire during Christmas celebrations in West Garo Hills

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TURA, Dec 27: It was meant to be a joyous celebration of singing and dancing, community feasts and special prayers to usher in Christmas, but for two families in West Garo Hills the day was marked with tragedy as a fire broke out destroying everything they had built all through their lives.

The fire destroyed the home of a Catholic missionary nun and a farmer who depended on the sale of his rubber sheets from his plantation.

Missionary sister Leena Ch Marak and her family were left shocked and bereaved to see before their eyes their entire family home totally destroyed by a fire that suddenly broke out in their village of Mandagre of Selsella at around 7:30 pm on Christmas Eve. They could not save anything.

Sister Leena of the MSMHC congregation is principal of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya school for girls in Baghmara town of South Garo Hills that looks after and gives shelter, care and education for girls belonging to the weaker sections of society.

In the other tragedy, a rubber farmer lost all five of his houses to a midnight fire that started from his kitchen.

The incident happened at around 12:30 in the night when the children had gone to celebrate the community dancing in the village square.

Nengran Sangma in Upper Kongrapara village, under Rongsai police outpost in Pedaldoba region of West Garo Hills had kept his rubber sheets to dry in his kitchen, not far from the fireplace and police enquiry indicated that probably a cat had entered the kitchen and accidently dropped one of the rubber sheets that was hanging onto the fire that caused the massive outbreak which destroyed their main residence, kitchen and existing structures within minutes.

The parents who were asleep in the house managed to save themselves but all items of the house, including money, food stock, utensils, beds, blankets, clothes and jackets and even crucial land and education documents were completely destroyed.

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Hub News : English Podcast : February 4

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