This Monday's fire in the Balukhali refugee camp in Ukhiya was the third one that had broken out in the last four days. This has caused large scale devastation of the refugee homes, numbering in thousands, and has taken at least seven lives, as per latest reports, including those of two children and two women. The offices of IOM PHC Balukhali, Turkish Hospital and MSF were also completely burnt. There were two incidences of fire in the same camp and on the same day, one in the late afternoon and the other at 11:00 pm. One has to wonder, was the fire put out properly when it had broken out the first time around, or was there some sort of negligence involved that led to two such devastating fires in the same place, on the same day?
These camps (being so densely packed and housing more than a million refugees) are extremely susceptible to fires, given the materials with which the shanties are constructed, plus the temporary electricity lines and makeshift kitchens, and the lack of awareness about fire precaution measures. And this is not the first incidence of fire in the refugee camps. In January of this year, a fire broke out in the Nayapara Rohingya refugee camp, destroying more than 550 shelters housing about 3,500 people as well as 150 shops. Thankfully, there were no casualties back then.