CHENNAI: An 84-year-old paraplegic, who was bedridden for years, was charred to death, after the air conditioner in his room caught fire due to a suspected short circuit in the early hours of Tuesday.
The deceased, Balasubramanian, resided with his wife, Annapoorani (77) at an apartment in 19th street in Nanganallur.
The couple had 3 children – 2 reside in different parts of Chennai, while the 1 lives abroad.
Police said that Balasubramanian retired as a stenographer from Madras High Court. He became paralysed from waist down few years ago and has been bedridden ever since.
Because of his health condition, the elderly couple slept in separate rooms, police said.
On Tuesday morning, around 5 am, Annapoorani saw thick smoke emanating from her husband’s room and alerted her neighbours.
Fire tenders from Guindy reached the scene and put out the fire. Police and rescue personnel secured Balasubramanian and moved him to the Chromepet government hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
Police suspect that the octogenarian was suffocated to death first before he got burnt.
“It’s not clear when the AC unit caught fire. The fire had spread to the bed and his cries were not heard outside the room,” a police official said.
Pazhavanthangal police have registered a case and are investigating.