Bangladeshi diplomat, family lucky to escape blaze alive
A property at Cobbadah Street, being rented by the Bangladesh Embassy was badly damaged by fire overnight. Photo: Graham Tidy
Bangladeshi diplomatic staff were lucky to escape alive from a fire that engulfed an official residence in O’Malley overnight, the country’s High Commission says.
The home of the Bangladesh High Commission’s commercial counsellor, Mohammed Azharul Huq, was gutted by a blaze in the early hours of this morning.
Firefighters arrived at the Cobbadah Street residence about 3.15am to find the home completely engulfed by flames.
An AFP Forensic staffer with camera, about to photograph the scene from the ACT Fire and Rescue Bronto. Photo: Graham Tidy
The fire destroyed three rooms to the rear of the house, causing a partial roof collapse and extensive smoke logging throughout the large two-storey home.
It caused roughly $200,000 damage.
The fire started while Mr Huq, his wife, two children and a friend were inside.
Mr Huq suffered minor burns, but has since been discharged from hospital.
The High Commission’s first secretary, Seheli Sabrin, said the family had been lucky to escape with their lives.
‘‘They’re lucky that they escaped from that fire, it was huge,’’ Mrs Sabrin said.
‘‘They’re very much worried about the house because they have two sons and one of their friends, so all of them are very frightened,’’ she said.
The fire took about an hour to bring under control, and caused substantial damage to the childrens’ rooms.
Mrs Sabrin said the fire was a ‘‘huge loss’’, destroying computers, electronic equipment, and other household possessions.
‘‘The two kids’ rooms, they have everything, all the electronic goods, laptops, computers, everything,’’ she said.
‘‘We will know about the other rooms after the inspection, we may get a clearer picture.’’
A cause is yet to be determined but ACT Fire and Rescue investigators were preparing to comb through the wreckage this morning about 9.20am, while firefighters conducted atmospheric monitoring.
It is unclear whether the fire was lit in suspicious circumstances, but ACT Policing were also on scene this morning.