BEIJING – The town of Dukezong in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan caught on fire on Saturday. At least 240 homes have been destroyed in the blaze.
Dukezong was one of China’s historic towns that was build about 1,300 years ago. It’s name means ‘City of the moon’. The ancient Tibetan town lies on the southern part of the famous ‘silky road’ in the district of Shangri-La; the name given to ‘paradise on earth’ in the romance novel ‘Lost Horizon’ by author James Hilton.
2,000 firefighters, volunteers and soldiers were on hand to fight the inferno, which lasted 9 hours. But efforts to extinguish the raging fire were slow because most homes in Dukezong were constructed of wood.
Authorities say that no one was killed in the fire or suffered any injuries. The 2,400 residents of Dukezong have all been evacuated.
The cause of the fire is yet unknown and is under investigation.
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