A massive fire gutted more than 2,000 shanties at Balukhali Rohingya camps no 11 and 12 in Ukhiya upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Sunday afternoon.
Cox’s Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Samsuddoha said the fire originated at a shanti of the camp and soon spread around, burning down over 2,000 shanties.
Regarding the damage, Balukhali Rohingya camp in-charge (CIC) Senior Assistant Secretary Sarwar Kamal said, “Preliminarily, it is estimated that 2,000 houses of the Rohingya camp have been burnt.” It may increase. We are working to prepare the final list, he added.
Dil Mohammad, a resident of Balukhali Rohingya camp, said, “Suddenly a fire broke out in my camp. Due to the wind, the fire spread all over the camp. We tried to put out the fire by evacuating my people before the fire service arrived at the spot.”
Resident of the camp, Saiful said, “The intensity of the fire was very high.”
Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Shaheen Imran, Superintendent of Police Mahfuzul Islam and other officials went to the spot after receiving the information about the fire.
The presence of cylinders in every shanty made the blaze difficult to control causing the fire to spread to a vast area, said Ukhiya Police Station Officer-in-Charge Sheikh Mohammad Ali.
Firefighters were alerted to the incident at 2:45pm and the first unit reached the spot at 3:10pm, according to the media cell of the Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Ten units of fire fighters from Ukhiya and Teknaf fire stations brought the fire under control at 5.17pm, said Anwarul Islam, warehouse inspector of the Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters media cell. No casualty was reported in the incident.