A fire on Sunday razed a portion of Karail Boubazar slum in the capital, rendering about 500 families homeless and injuring two.
One of the injured, Rocky, 18, received minor burns and a 23-year-old pregnant woman, Laboni Akhter, was injured as she collapsed at the sight of the fire.
Rocky was given first aid at the burn and plastic surgery unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital while Laboni was admitted to DMCH in the evening.
The slum, located on the bank of Gulshan Lake and accommodating about fifty thousand working class people on 150 acres of land, is the largest in the city.
Affected people said the fire gutted all their belongings.
Fire Service and Civil Defence control room said that the fire that reportedly broke out about 2:50pm was brought under control around 4:40pm.
Fire fighters managed to put out the fire completely towards 6:40pm, they said.
They said that 14 fire fighting units tamed the fire and no casualties were reported.
They, however, said that they could ascertain neither the source nor the amount of losses in fire immediately.
Locals said the fire might have originated from a mattress store in the slum.
There is an electric pillar adjacent to the store and locals often witnessed sparks there, they said.
‘About 500 shanties were burnt in the fire, local councillor Mafizur Rahman told reporters at the spot.
As the slum caught fire, fire fighters along with volunteers rushed the spot and asked the residents to leave their rooms.
Shanti Begum, 30, who works as house help in the city, said she heard the news of the fire at her workplace and came back only to see her shelter going up in flames.
‘I got money from two houses, out of four, and the money was in a box. All my belongings and money have been gutted,’ she wailed.
Dhaka north city mayor Annisul Huq visited the spot and assured the victims of assistance. It was the second time in about nine months fire broke out in slum.
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust in a statement expressed deep concern over the fires in the slum and demanded proper compensations for the victims.
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