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Fire in ethnic village in China destroys houses

January 26, 2014

BEIJING (AP) — A fire in a 300-year-old village populated by an ethnic minority has destroyed more than 100 houses, Chinese officials said Sunday.

The fire in Baojing Dong village in southwest Guizhou province broke out late Saturday and was put out just over four hours later, according to a statement from the Zhenyuan county government.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the village of 2,000 inhabitants was the biggest of the Dong ethnic group in that area of Guizhou and known for its Dong-style dwellings.

A Zhenyuan county official said most of the houses were wooden and single level or two floors high. The official, who only gave his surname, Yao, said no casualties had been reported and the cause was still being investigated.

Yao said 500 people, including firefighters, locals and officials, participated in the fire-fighting.

Fires in old, wooden villages are common in China, and earlier this month a fire struck a Tibetan village in southwest Yunnan province. That fire was in the ancient Tibetan quarter of Dukesong, which dates back more than 1,000 years.

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