3 Indian siblings, on Christmas celebration visit, die in US home fire
A woman Kari Coudriet of Collierville, and Sharron, 17, Joy, 15, and Aaron, 14 — teen siblings of the Naik family from India — all died in the fire, said a statement released by the Coudriet’s Collierville Bible Church.Updated: Dec 26, 2018 23:27 IST
Three Indian teenaged siblings were among four people killed when the house of the family that was hosting them for Christmas celebrations at Collierville in the south-eastern US state of Tennessee caught fire.
Sathwika Naik, 16, her sister Jaya Naik, 14, and brother Suhan Naik, 15, from Telangana’s Nalgonda district, were killed in the fire on Sunday along with their hostess, Kari Coudriet, 46. Seven others, including Coudriet ’s widower, Danny, and their son, Cole, 13, were hospitalised for treatment of smoke inhalation.
American daily USA Today reported that the Naik teens were missionaries in partnership with the Collierville Bible Church (CBC) and were studying at a school in Mississippi. It added the Coudriets invited them to stay in their home when the school closed for winter break and the three could not go home to India. The father of the three, Srinivas Naik, a pastor, also associated with CBC, had returned to Nalgonda last year after working in the US. The children had stayed back to continue their studies at Mississippi’s French Camp Academy. In a statement, the CBC identified the three teenagers as Sharron, Joy and Aaron Naik.
Srinivas Naik and his wife, Sujatha, could not be contacted. They flew to the US immediately after coming to know about the incident. Cole and Danny survived after jumping from a second storey window. A neighbour rushed to the scene and tried to go up to the second storey with a ladder to rescue those trapped in the two-storey house after Danny pleaded for help. “It was so hot, and smoke was billowing,” news agency Associated Press quoted Collierville fire department chief Mark King as saying.
Local media reported that the investigators were still probing how the house caught fire.
In Hyderabad, Telangana Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy asked the state government to make arrangements for bringing the bodies of the three teenagers to India.
First Published: Dec 26, 2018 14:07 IST