Guruvayur: This may sound a little bit odd, but if the Ernakulam passenger train had not passed through 73-year-old Leelavathy’s house at that hour of the night, she should have burned to ashes by now in the fire that engulfed her house on Tuesday.
Leelavathy, who is partially blind due to old age, was alone in her single-room house when the mishap occurred after 10.30 pm. Her grandson Vishnu had gone out with his friends at the time of the incident.
The fire reportedly spread from a candle which was lit in the kitchen. Since Leelavathy was bedridden, she could not get up from the cot. Though she screamed out loudly, none could hear it.
It was at this time the Ernakulam passenger train passed through the area. Seeing the house catching fire, loco pilot A N Unni blow the horn repeatedly. Smelling something amiss, Soman who was living on the other side of the track, came out of his house and saw Leelavathy’s house being swallowed by flames.
Without a second thought, Soman rushed to rescue the woman despite him suffering burns while attempting to bring her out safely. If the loco pilot had not blown the horn from a distance, Soman would have had to wait for the train to pass. However, the alertness of the loco pilot helped him to cross the track without wasting time.
By the time, Soman entered the house, many more people joined the rescue mission. Leelavathy was taken to the medical college hospital on Wednesday morning.
The Fire and Rescue service from Guruvayur reached the spot and doused the fire. However, Vishnu’s 10th class books and uniform were gutted in the fire.
Leelavathy lives with her daughter Radhika and her three children in the single room house. Radhika along with the two of the kids had gone to visit one of her relatives the other day. The local CPM-DYFI activists have started to rebuild the house for the family.