120 homes destroyed in Mae La refugee camp fire
About 120 homes were destroyed and two people were injured on Friday in a blaze that devastated the Mae La refugee camp, about 60km north of Mae Sot on the Thai side of the border with Burma.
Naw Day Day Poe, secretary of the refugee camp, said the fire broke out in the camp’s Zone C-3 around 2pm and left 120 wooden houses destroyed while 40 others were dissembled by the camp’s residents to prevent the fire from spreading.
“We heard the fire started at a boarding school in the Zone-3 and left some 120 homes destroyed – another 30 or 40 houses were brought down by the camp’s residents to prevent the blaze from spreading,” said the camp secretary.
“Two people – one adult and one child – were injured in the incident.”
The fire was suppressed around 3pm after six fire engines were sent in from Mae Sot. The adult victim sustained severe burns and is being treated at Mae La hospital.
Naw Day Day Poe said those who lost their homes to the blaze are now taking shelter with relatives and friends but are urgently in need of warm clothing and blankets.
In April 2012, a religious school in the camp’s Zone-1 was destroyed by fire.
Similarly in February 2012, a fire broke out at Umpium refugee camp in Tak Province’s Phop Phra town, leaving over 3,000 homes destroyed and tens of thousands of refugees without shelter.
The Mae La refugee camp is home to about 50,000 refugees from Burma, most of whom are ethnic Karen.