Creek saved us, says survivor
Many survivors of the Mae Hong Son refugee camp fire narrowly escaped death by running into a nearby creek, one of the lucky ones said.Sako Thu, 20, a Karen resident of the Ban Mae Surin camp, said residents were told through a public address system to help extinguish the fire. But the blaze spread rapidly due to strong winds.
Hundreds of the Myanmar refugees ran towards the creek for their lives. "People were shouting, telling others to run into the nearby stream," he said.
The man said many residents were trapped by the blaze and he saw several people - mostly children and the elderly - burned alive in the fire. He joined others running into the creek as the blaze raged through their thatched-roof bamboo huts.
"There was a huge commotion and I could hear people crying for help all around," he said.
He found out later that his mother was among those injured in the fire.