After surviving earthquake, Syrian family of seven dies in fire

The Syrian family had moved to the central region of Konya from the southeastern Turkish city of Nurdagi, which was badly hit by the February 6 quakes.

Rescue workers from Turkey and Malaysia carry out a person retrieved from a collapsed building in Nurdagi, Gaziantep
Many Syrian refugees live in southeastern regions of Turkey devastated by last week's earthquakes [Zein al Rifai/AFP]

A Syrian family of seven, including five children, has been killed in a fire that struck a Turkish home they moved to after surviving last week’s earthquake, local media reported.

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency reported citing a written statement from Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office that the single-storey house, in which 14 people lived, caught fire on Friday. Seven people injured in the incident were receiving treatment, it said.

Anadolu reported the family had moved to the central region of Konya just a few days ago from the southeastern Turkish city of Nurdagi in Gaziantep province, which was severely hit by the February 6 quakes.

“The necessary investigations were carried out at the scene and a committee of experts was appointed,” the statement said.

“We saw the fire but we could not intervene. A girl was rescued from the window,” resident Muhsin Cakir told Anadolu.

The five children who died were aged between four and 13, Anadolu said. Turkey is home to nearly four million Syrians.

Many of them live in southeastern regions devastated by last week’s disaster. The death toll from the quakes has surpassed 43,000 across southeastern Turkey and Syria.

Gaziantep, one of southern Turkey’s big cities, has a population of almost two million, and nearly one-third of them are Syrian refugees who fled the war in the Arab country that started in 2011.

On Thursday, the United Nations appealed for more than $1bn in funds for the earthquake relief operation in Turkey, just two days after an appeal for $400m for quake-hit Syria.

While rescue efforts have continued in Turkey, the number of people rescued daily has reduced significantly.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies