France: Hundreds of Migrants Homeless After Camp Fire

Authorities in France are now working on finding shelter for more than 1,000 migrants left homeless by a fire at the Grand-Synthe camp. Sixty firefighters had to be sent in to control the fire.

The migrants left homeless by the camp fire are now sleeping outside as they wait for a shelter. Around 500 of the migrants are currently staying in a gymnasium. NGOs are currently helping the migrants by giving them food.

Wooden Cabins Destroyed

The fire at the Grand-Synthe camp destroyed most of the wooden cabins built there. Sixty firefighters were sent in to control the fire but around 70 percent of the camp is now gone. The fire, which is said to be have been started deliberately, quickly spread and destroyed the wooden cabins that had been built for the camp, which opened in May 2016.

Officials say the fire began during a fight between Afghan and Kurds. Five people were hurt in the fight, which was broken up by police. A local official said the fires began after the fight. Most of the wooden cabins at the camp were reduced to ashes.

The Grand-Synthe Camp

The Grand-Synthe camp, which was home to an estimated 1,500 migrants, was opened last year and was one of the largest camps after the Calais refugee camp, which was closed last year. The Calais refugee camp was home to thousands of people that were waiting to reach the UK. But France announced last year that it would close the camp. Authorities began taking migrants and refugees to shelters across the country weeks after the announcement. After the people were evacuated, authorities began demolishing the camp, which was home to an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 people before it was closed.

Migration has been a big topic for the candidates in the French presidential election, which takes place later this month.