300 left homeless after Nai Soi Refugee camp fire

  • Written by S.H.A.N
  • Published in S.H.A.N

More than 300 people have lost their homes after a fire destroyed a big neighbourhood in Nai Soi refugee camp in northern Thailand last week. No casualties have been reported.

According to Shalea, a resident in Nai Soi, also known as Karenni Refugee Camp (1), the fire broke out at about 10pm on July 5. He said that he didn’t know the cause of the fire.

“It may have been from a candle,” he told Shan Herald by telephone. “It happened at night when most people were already asleep. Thirty-three houses burnt down and about 300 residents left without shelter.”

Thai police are investigating the cause of the blaze, he added.

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Nai Soi was original established on the Karenni State side of the border in 1989 to house villagers fleeing conflict in eastern Burma. The camp was relocated several times before it was finally settled at its present location in March 1996. Currently, Nai Soi refugee camp houses about 8,000 people, most of whom are ethnic Karenni.

Nai Soi has been the victim of several fires in recent years; more than 40 people were killed in a blaze in 2013 and about 400 left homeless.

“It is lucky this time that no one got hurt,” said Maw Mya, a Nai Soi refugee who witnessed last week’s fire. “However, this type of incident affects everyone psychologically.”