More than 200 homes and businesses were destroyed in a blaze that devastated the village of Katbat in the Irrawaddy delta’s Laputta township early on Monday morning, leaving about 1,100 people homeless.
Local healthcare charity group Hna Lone Thar Laputta told DVB that more than 200 buildings, including houses and local businesses, were razed by the fire which started in a noodle shop at a local market in the town’s main commercial district at around 1am on Monday. It raged until 7am before firefighters could extinguish the blaze.
“The fire broke out at around 1am,” said Min Min Aung, a member of the charity group. “The villagers tried to put it out immediately because there was no fire engine available. But the houses are all built of wood so the fire spread wildly.”
He added that he believed about 15 people had sustained minor burn injuries but that there were no other casualties.
According to a report in the state-run Myanma Ahlin on Tuesday morning, 43 homes and 170 shop-houses were destroyed in the fire. Min Min Aung said the cost of the destruction may be extensive as in addition to many business premises, several garment and rice shops, pharmacies and carpentry stores were destroyed in the blaze.
Meanwhile, some 1,100 residents have been left homeless by the fire, and are currently being sheltered at Laputta High School and Maha Aungmyayzan Buddhist Monastery in the town. Relief groups and volunteers are providing humanitarian supplies.
“The victims are being provided assistance in the form of blankets, clothing, food parcels and water by various organisations, including political parties such as the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National League for Democracy, as well as civil society groups such as the Hna Lone Thar Laputta,” said Min Min Aung.
Before Monday’s fire, some 1,500 houses stood in Katbat, which is located about two hours boat ride from Laputta, an area devastated in 2008 by Cyclone Nargis.