Fire started by ‘mosquito coil’ guts 500 homes in slum at Gazipur’s Tongi

A massive fire has burnt down more than 500 homes at a slum in Gazipur’s Tongi.

The blaze occurred at the Majar Slum next to the Tongi Sena Kalyan building early on Saturday morning.

The fire at the slum, which was built on government land near Tongi Lake, was reported around 3:55 am, said Dinmoni Sharma, deputy director of the Dhaka Division Fire Service.

Nine fire service units from Tongi, Dhaka’s Kurmitola and Uttara rushed to the scene and were able to bring the blaze under control around 5:50 am.

“During our initial investigation, we learned that the fire started from a mosquito coil inside a home in the slum,” Dinmoni Sharma said. “Nearly all the homes had gas cylinders. Because of the heat, the rubber pipes on the cylinders melted and released gas. As a result, the fire grew quickly.”

Over 500 homes and all their furniture were gutted in the fire, the fire service official said.

The full cost of the damage will only be apparent after an investigation, but no casualties have been reported thus far, Sharma added.