August 4, 2022 6.00 pm

Couple lose passports in Boston flats engulfed by heatwave fire

Their documents are testament to 20 years’ work

A Boston couple have lost their passports and other essential documents in a fire at a block of flats during the heatwave last month, leaving their future uncertain.

The building, at Charleston Terrace, London Road has since been razed to the ground as it was deemed to be structurally unsafe.

Jitthu Mohan, 30, and Vyshnavi Hari, 36 were eating an early dinner when they were alerted to the fire by a knock at the door. Once outside, nobody was allowed to venture back into the building to collect belongings.

Jitthu said: “We only had our mobile phones in our hands, and we then heard there was a fire in the accommodation and we had to leave immediately.”

Lincolnshire Fire & rescue say the fire most probably was started by “some kind of discarded smoking materials outside the building”. The community has rallied around the unharmed victims of the blaze, with £2,000 being raised for one family displaced by the fire.

Vyshnavi Hari lost her passport amongst other belongings in the blaze. | Screenshot: BBC Look North/BBC News Hub

Jitthu said: “The documents are just like our life – we have been working hard for the past 20 years and we have earned all these documents so we tried many times but we unfortunately couldn’t get them (from the flat).”

Vyshnavi Hari said: “We still have a hope that amongst the debris, we might find our documents, because they’re in a big brown leather bag.”

Jitthu said: “If we lost have the documents from India we have to go back to our country, and there are many formalities – we have to appear before the court in person and it’s very costly. Now it’s OK, but if there’s any emergency in India it’s difficult for us to travel.”

The hall at St Thomas’ Church on London Road was used as a centre for those evacuated from their homes before they could be put up in hotels or sought shelter with friends.