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Eleven homes were set ablaze in a fire at Umphein refugee camp on the Thai border on Monday. Residents were forced to dismantle a further 50 homes to prevent the fire spreading, according to the camp’s security coordinator, who said the fire had been sparked by a child playing with matches.
A temporary shelter was erected to house the 60 people affected by the complete destruction of nine homes and damage to a further two. No residents were injured.
Umphien — with an estimated population of 17,000 — is the second largest of the refugee camps on the Thai border after the nearby Mae La, where fire claimed the homes of 120 people and injured three in December 2013. That same month saw accidental fire ravage a Rohingya refugee camp in Pauktaw, Arakan state. The people of Umphien themselves are no strangers to fire, 1,000 homes having been destroyed in a February 2012 blaze.