Doubts raised over cause of refugee camp fire | Bangkok Post: news

Questions raised over cause of refugee camp blaze According to official sources, the fire at Mae Surin was an accident. But several eyewitnesses and a senior police officer who headed the initial probe remain unconvinced Published: 7 Apr 2013 at 00.00Newspaper section: Spectrum Two weeks after 38 people were killed in a fire at the Mae Surin camp in Mae Hong Son province, the circumstances that led to the fatal blaze remain unclear. SUSPICIOUS SMOKE: The police officer in charge of the initial investigation said he was puzzled by the black smoke created by the blaze. House fires usually produce white smoke, he said. In the aftermath of the tragedy, which has been described as the worst to hit a border refugee camp in more than 25 years, the military has maintained a tight lid on the scene. As well as the fatalities, more than 2,300 Karen and Karenni refugees were left homeless, 100 people were injured and 400 dwellings were destroyed. While there has yet to be an official declaration of the cause of the fire, media reports have pointed to three possible explanations: a cooking accident, a forest fire and arson. Spectrum visited the camp last week to get eyewitness accounts o