The deceased was identified as Rekha, wife of Ganesh, a resident of Mathews Nagar at St Thomas Mount. Her son and in-laws who rushed to her rescue were also injured in the fire, and are undergoing treatment.
According to police, the incident happened around 6 am on Wednesday when Rekha went to the kitchen and turned on the light. It seems to have triggered a spark which ignited a fire due to LPG gas leak, resulting in a blast. On hearing the cries, her in-laws, Kumar (58) and Alamelu (54), and son Roshan (5) rushed to Rekha’s rescue. However, they too got trapped in the fire.
Later, Ganesh, who was sleeping in another room, and their neighbours doused the fire and pulled out all the four from the room. They were then rushed to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, but Rekha, who suffered 90 per cent burns, died by afternoon without responding to treatments. The other three are undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Mount police have registered a case, visited the spot and held inquiries. Police are also trying to find out why Ganesh failed to react immediately after the blast while others managed to wake up and rush to rescue on hearing the noise. An RDO inquiry is also being held into the incident.
Quoting Ganesh, police said that their son Roshan usually sleeps with the grandparents, while he and Rekha used to sleep in another room with their 18-month-old daughter. On Wednesday morning, Rekha got up to make coffee. As even a small sound would disturb their daughter, Rekha had closed the door, Ganesh told police.
The fire control received a call at around 6.50am and a fire tender from Guindy rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
Police believe that there could have been a minor cooking gas leak since Tuesday night which the family may not have noticed. As the house is situated in a narrow building, the gas filled the kitchen and the hall, and exploded when Rekha switched the light on.
Though neighbours alerted 108 ambulance service immediately to help rush her to the hospital, Rekha, who sustained 93 per cent burns, died within a few minutes of reaching the hospital. Alamelu has 41 per cent burns while Kumar and Roshan suffered 13 per cent and 16 cent burns respectively, police said.