Massive fire at Mirpur control, thousands homeless and 4 injured

Staff Corespondent
17 August 2019, Sat
Published: 11:14 Updated: 11:15

Massive fire at Mirpur control, thousands homeless and 4 injured

A massive fire broke out at a slum in Mirpur-7 of the city on Friday evening. The fire service's 25 units were able to extinguish the fire before midnight, according to the Fire Service and Civil Defense.

The huge fire turned thousands of the lower-income slum residents homeless and left nothing for them other than charred valuables, and despair.

The dwellers just fled their homes with whatever they found at hand. Their cries made the entire atmosphere gloomier, burdened with thoughts of their uncertain future.

Lt Col Zillur Rahman, director (operations and maintenance) of Fire Service, said there was no news of deaths. 

However, Fire Service sources said at least four people including a firefighter were injured in the incident.

Of them, firefighter Jewel Rana was taken to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. Two others - Kabir and Habib - were taken to different hospital in Mirpur.

Police, RAB, Wasa, and other volunteers also assisted the Fire Service personnel.

Rupnagar police station Inspector (Investigation) Golam Rabbani said, "We have deployed enough police personnel to ensure that everything remains under control. 

Meanwhile, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam and State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman visited the spot.

The mayor said they with the help of other authorities they would take whatever steps necessary to assist the affected people.

According to locals, the fire also spread to a nearby building, but it was difficult to say if anyone was inside.

Locals say there are over 1,000 shanties in the slum, and most of the dwellers were away because of Eid-ul-Azha.

Many slum dwellers were in tears, and lamented that their homes were all completely destroyed. 

Some said they felt so much despair, and had no idea where to go or what to do.

Locals also said around 100,000 people lived in the slum, all of them being in the lower-income group. 

Most of the shanties were made of wood, or bamboo, with the roofs covered with polythene. So the fire spread quickly, they added.

Locals also suspect the fire may have originated from a short circuit, or from a stove.

Nasema, a house wife, said she rushed out from her home with two children. Her husband, Md Shohag, a small trader, helped in getting them out, but himself was missing.  

Kamrul Khan, garments worker, said he managed to escape the blaze. He lived with 10 other family members in the slum. 

"Everyone was in the same situation; nobody was able to come out with anything. We are poor people. I do not know what to do, or where to go," he added.