In the early hours of Saturday, a couple died of asphyxiation caused by smoke from a fire that gutted their first-floor apartment in Nanganallur.

J. Venkataramani and his wife Sowmya, residents of Ram Nagar 8th Street in Nanganallur, suffocated to death from the smoke that engulfed their apartment following a fire caused by an electrical short-circuit, police said.

The two-storey apartment complex with nine flats did not have fire safety measures in place, the police said.

J. Venkataramani was working as advertisement officer with The Hindu.

The couple is survived by two children.