January 10, 2022
A massive fire swept through shanties in Kata area of Camp-16 in Ukhiya yesterday, leaving thousands displaced.
Additional Superintendent of Police Kamran Hossen of Armed Police Battalion-8, said the fire broke out around 4:55pm and rapidly spread, destroying around 1,200 homes of Rohingya refugees.
It was doused around 9:10pm, said Emdadul Haque, station officer of Ukhiya Fire Station in Cox’s Bazar.
Enamul Hossen, a firefighter, said four units of the fire station and dozens more from Cox’s Bazar rushed to the spot on being informed around 4:50pm.
In a video footage of the incident shared on social media, the fire was seen spreading rapidly and engulfing hundreds of shanties while dozens of Rohingya refugees ran for safety.
Saddam Hossain, a local of Shafiullah Kata area, told The Daily Star that they found the thick smoke billowing over Camp-16 around 5:00pm and saw hundreds of homes gutted in the fire.
“Fire service along with other government agencies are trying hard to douse the fire,” he said last night.
Incidents of fire have become a common phenomenon in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. In March last year, 10,000 homes were razed to the ground in a huge fire in four camps in Balukhali of Ukhiya.
Officials concerned have often attributed the origin of fires to gas cylinders, but insiders in Rohingya camps have claimed that the fires are acts of arson.