A fire which broke out at 9.50.pm on 9 th February has caused extensive damage to Zone C Section 3 of Mae La camp for displaced persons from Myanmar. Local refugee committees were the first to lead a community response, using sandbags and water buckets to douse the flames and tearing down nearby buildings to stop the fire from spreading. The arrival of the local Thai Fire Brigades meant firehoses and firetrucks could be deployed and working together firefighters and refugee responders managed to contain and successfully extinguish the fire by 11.pm.
While there were no casualties or serious injuries, the fire did cause substantial damage to the camp. At least 50 houses were completely destroyed in the blaze, while another 50 were rapidly dismantled to control the blaze. This has left hundreds of refugees without homes. One Food Vender outlet was badly damaged, as were community buildings, a vocational training centre and administration buildings belonging to the Thai Ministry of Interior.
Those who lost their homes are currently staying with relatives, family and friends, although this is not sustainable in the long term. Emergency food assistance and extensive building and shelter supplies are required. The cost of damages currently stands at least $25,000 with rapid needs assessments ongoing.
Local communities, Thai authorities, CBOs, INGOs and TBC are currently coordinating the response.
TBC will provide further updates on this situation as it develops.