Mae Hong Son refugee camp razed in accidental fire

300 Karen refugees left homeless

Residents of the Pang Moo holding center in Mae Hong Son are left homeless after an accidental fire razed the camp.

Khajohn Boonpath

The refugee holding center in Pang Moo, Mae Hong Son, was damaged by fire on March 23 and more than 300 Karen refugees were left homeless. Mae Hong Son provincial authorities and UNHCR have pledged to rebuild houses and install a new water supply system after the fire.

Thaweesak Wattanathamraks, Deputy Mae Hong Son Governor, accompanied by Col Boonyuen Inkwang, Deputy Commander of the Special Task Force of Infantry Regiment, Pol. Col. Suriyong Wuthi, the superintendent of Mae Hong Son police station, Prasert O-Sataphan, Mae Hong Son district officer, and Watchira Chotirosseranee, the permanent secretary who manages the holding inspected the destroyed areas of the refugee camp.

Watchira said that the fire started because one of the residents had lit a candle and then left to visit a friend’s house. Strong winds knocked the candle over. Made of bamboo and grass roofs, the fire caught quickly and spread across the camp rapidly.

He added that this refugee camp was often attacked across the border so many of the residents panicked at the fire, worried it was another attack.

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