A Tamil Nadu based journalist and two members of his family asphyxiated to death on Thursday after a refrigerator in their house caught fire. Thirty-six-year-old Prasanna, a senior reporter in the Tamil news network NewsJ, his wife Archana (30) and mother, 59-year old Revathy died in the fire. They were residing in an independent house in Selaiyur, Tambaram, located on the outskirts of Chennai.
According to preliminary investigations, the fire started after the compressor of the fridge burst due to high voltage.
"The fire is suspected to have started Thursday early morning. While it did not engulf the house, it burnt the plastics and created more smoke. The family is said to have passed away after inhaling the smoke. They must have shut the doors to switch on the air conditioner and as a result, trapped the smoke inside the house," a source close to the deceased reporter told TNM.
The bodies of the journalist and his mother were found in the living room of the house. They were retrieved by the fire department which also alerted the NewsJ office, where Prasanna was working.
"News of their death spread by 10:30 or 11 am at the NewsJ office. A few of their colleagues went to the house and confirmed the accident. Prasanna had even come to office the previous day and had gone back home after his afternoon shift. On Thursday he was missing in office and his colleagues tried calling him. But there was no response," the source added.
A case has been registered in the Selaiyur police station which is investigating the exact cause of death.
Prasanna was a Tamil Nadu based reporter with 10-years of experience. He has previously worked with Thanthi Tv and GTV before moving to NewsJ which is owned by the ruling AIADMK.