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Kenya Fire Leaves Thousands Homeless - 2004-02-20


A huge fire in a slum south of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands of residents without shelter.

The fire began late Thursday, fanned by winds that caused it to race quickly through the poor neighborhood, jammed with hundreds of ramshackle homes made of tin and timber.

Injuries have been reported - but there is no information on deaths.

The cause of the blaze is not immediately known.

An area official says some 4500 people are homeless. Officials are trying to find shelter for those affected by the fire.

Some reports quote residents as saying they suspect the fire was started with the knowledge the Kenyan government, which they accuse of trying to force them out of the slum to make way for a new road.

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