Fire Renders Two Dead and Hundreds Homeless in Miao Diocese

Lazu, 19 March 2021: A massive fire accident has rendered at least two people dead and hundreds homeless in Longliang village of Tirap district in Arunachal Pradesh on 18 March 2021.

In a heartbreaking incident, 114 houses of the total 136 houses in one of the last villages of the State bordering Myanmar have been reduced to ashes due to an accidental fire that lasted for nearly two hours. The fire has left at least two people dead and more than 500 people homeless.

The two victims have been identified as a bedridden 65-year old man and a four year-old girl child who could not run in time to escape the inferno. The charred images of the two are heart wrenching.

There is fear that more causalities may emerge once the people are able to rumble through the ashes and debris.

Longliang, a small Ollo Tribal village under Lazu circle, is some 45 KMs from Khonsa, the district headquarters.

Narrating the massive fire accident, Sethok Thinyan, a youth leader from Lazu said that this was biggest fire accident he witnessed in his life. “All the houses are made of bamboos with thatched roofs and are built adjacent to one another. A small spark aided by the usual strong wind can spell a doom for the whole village. The fire tender too could not arrive due to the remoteness of the village. The fire has also taken away the food grains saved for the rest of the year”, said the youth leader.

The fire victims are now staying with the families the fire left intact. They now need basic amenities like utensils, tents for making temporary accommodations, food and clothing.  

Expressing shock, Bishop George Pallipparambil sdb of Miao Diocese has appealed to the people to pray for the victims and to express solidarity with them during this time extreme pain. “My thoughts are with the people of Longliang. I am deeply saddened to know the magnitude of the loss and pain the fire has caused. I appeal to everyone to come forward to help the people of Longliang in whatever way you can”, he said.

Bishop George has also pressed in Seva Kendra Arunachal East, the diocesan social service wing, to help the people with immediate relief materials. He has also requested the Priests and Women Religious working around Lazu circle to provide the people with whatever they could do support the people.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained yet.