Three people walk across the street with bags of salvaged belongings in hand. A big fire that broke out near the Hanoi Pediatrics Hospital on Monday night gutted several apartments that poor patients and families live in. Many of them lost all their belongings and did not have a place to stay.
Nguyen The Hiep, the apartments' landlord, guided patients and their families to a nearby communal house to take refuge. The 30-room complex he owned has been gutted, leaving 60 occupants stranded.
Hiep's low-cost rent rooms are badly damaged.
Mothers and caretakers with their children in a cultural house in Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District. All the furniture in the hall has been removed to make room for the people.
Dao Thi Duyen and her family rest after the fire burnt down their apartment. She has brought her child from the northern province of Lang Son, four hours northeast of Hanoi, for medical treatment. "I was taking my daughter to the hospital when the fire started. When we came back, the apartment had already been burnt down and nothing was left. I have no money left to pay for my child’s treatment now."
Duyen’s daughter sleeps, oblivious to the challenges facing her and her family in the coming days.
A boy yawns in his mother's arms.
Tran Thi Tien carries her child. When they escaped from the fire, Tien didn't have enough time to take any belongings with her, save for two cartons of milk.
A child drinks milk from a bottle. Nguyen Thi Huong from the central province of Nghe An has been taking care of this child, who has a congenital brain disorder, for the last 12 years. The fire has destroyed everything she owns.
A couple with their baby inside the communal house. "When we escaped from the fire, my wife and I managed to take some belongings with us. But our money was kept inside our clothes the whole time and we forgot about that, and it has burned in the fire. We don't know how to get back to our hometown now," said Le Van Hung of Nghe An Province, seven hours south of Hanoi.
At approximately 6 p.m. Monday night, a house on De La Thanh Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi caught fire. It quickly spread, engulfing five stores nearby. Hundreds of patients, many of them children, and their families had to flee in panic.
The fire was put out by 7:30 p.m. Outpatients from outside the city are struggling to find a place to stay as the rooms they rented near the hospital have been damaged.
No official data has been released on the damage inflicted by fire.
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