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Kolkata: One person has died and several shanties have been gutted in a devastating fire in a slum not very far from Kolkata airport.

The fire broke out at Kaikhali’s Mandal Gathi slum around 7 this evening and engulfed the entire settlement in no time.

Most inhabitants of the slum managed to escape in time but an elderly named Nirmal Mondal (65) could not. He got charred to death in his house even as people of the slum were initially trying to douse the fire on their own.

As the fire went out of control, four fire tenders rushed to the spot from Nager Bazar and Dum Dum.

It took the firefighters two hours to contain the fire. By then almost the entire slum had been reduced into ashes.

State fire services minister Sujit Bose, under which Assembly segment comes the area, went to the spot to take stock of the situation. He was accompanied by councillors of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.

“We have provided temporary shelter and arranged food for the families that have lost houses in the fire. Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation will start new houses for them at the same spot from Saturday itself,” minister Bose told reporters.

People, who have been rendered homeless, alleged before the minister that the fire might have been caused by a factory located adjacent to the slum. The fire services department, however, yet to ascertain as to how the fire started.