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Midnapore: An elderly couple has been charred to death in sleep in West Midnapore district. This after a fire broke out in their house in the wee hours on Thursday.

The couple was childless and used to live in their house at Kayetpur village under Kharagpur police station jurisdiction. They have been identified as Asit Das (70) and Shikha Das (61).

Their neighbours said that around 1 am on Thursday, they saw the Das house up in flames. Despite shouting repeatedly, when the elderly couple did not respond, the neighbours broke open the main door and doused the fire by fetching water from a nearby pond.

Once the fire was arrested, the couple were found dead in their bed with nearly 90 per cent burns. The neighbours then alerted police and team from Kharagpur police station sent the dead body for post-mortem.

Shibaprasad Mullick, a neighbour of the deceased couple said that they suspect the fire to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit. Police, however, are yet to ascertain the cause.