Almost sixty homes burned down in Karenni Refugee Camp 1 on Monday night. The cause of the fire was an unattended candle that was burning around midnight on March 23. The fires spread to almost all of the homes in Section 4 within half an hour. 57 of the 60 homes were burnt to the ground, but no villagers were seriously injured.
The owner of the house in section 4 where the fire started said, "The summer season is the holiday for children and they normally go to watch videos in others' houses. I was sleeping when they lit the candle and I didn't know when they were coming back. Meanwhile the child's father and older brother had gone to to work in Nai Soi [a nearby Thai village] and spent the night there."
While no one was seriously hurt, most of their properties were lost to the fire.They fled to save themselves and had to leave behind their pets, accommodations and foods that were supplied by TBBC.
According to a section 4 leader. "We lost our worthy properties that we have owned for many years and also lost festival instruments."
While the camp authorities and other villagers from various sections tried to help stop the fire, the flames continued to spread from one house to another. They were unable to slow down the fires as there is a lack of water during the current hot season and the fires were moving very fast.
"I just found a way to escape from the flame without any properties. All have gone into the fires. One problem was there was not enough water to extinguish the burning and even though our neighbors from other sections came and helped, the burning still spread. All homes were gone during half an hour." one of the villagers added.
This accident was the worst in the history of the Karenni Refugee Camps.