Mandalay fire destroys 19 homes

Apr 1, 2008 (DVB), A fire which broke out on Saturday evening near High School 13 between 81st and 82nd streets in Mandalay devastated about 19 houses, Mandalay residents said.

A monk from Masoeyein monastery who helped put out the fire said it was burning for about two hours.

A local resident who saw the fire said the fire brigade had difficulties extinguishing the blaze.

"I went to the site and watched the fire at around 8pm. I think at least 10 houses were destroyed," the local said.

"About 30 fire trucks arrived on the scene. But some of them broke down when they got there while some others ran out of water," he said.

"They did try hard to put out the fire immediately but they kept running out of water so they had to go to the moat to get more water."

Another local said the fire had started at a local business premises.

"It was started by a gas-tank explosion at a shoe-maker on the block and about 15 houses were destroyed," the local said.

An official from Mandalay fire brigade said a generator had started the fire, which had now been completely extinguished.

"The fire started at around 7.42pm and was completely suppressed by 9.00pm. It was started by an overheated generator from a house in the area," the official said.

"The total cost of the damage is estimated at about 3.8 million kyat. Fifty fire trucks from the Mandalay fire brigade and four from Mandalay municipality were sent to the location."

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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