Blaze leaves more than 270 homeless in NW China

09:27, January 10, 2011      

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More than 270 people in a village in northwest China's Gansu Province have been left homeless after a fire early Sunday morning ripped through residential buildings, said local authorities.

A spokesman with the Zhouqu County government said the blaze started in the early morning in Qawa Village, and was extinguished by 3 p.m. No casualties have been reported, but 613 houses were damaged.

The remote rural settlement was not hit by last August's massive mudslide in the county, which left 1,510 people dead and 255 others missing.

The spokesman said a short circuit in one of the houses might have started the fire.

The village is currently without electricity due to the fire.

The local government has sent 70 tents and ordered food as well as quilts to help the victims keep warm in the freezing cold of the plateau region.

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