Hotel survives fire that razed ancient town

The hotel I stayed at in Dukezong survived Saturday’s fire, which destroyed most of the ancient town.

“We were very lucky, our hotel suffered little damage,” said Matthieu Lelievre, who owns Kersang’s Relay Station hotel with his wife and her family.

More than 80 percent of the buildings in Dukezong, located in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, were destroyed in the fire. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that local officials said the blaze was caused by an electrical problem that ignited a curtain inside a guesthouse.

Most of the structures in the 1,300-year-old town are made of wood. The fire spread quickly on Saturday, driven by dry conditions and strong winds. According to state media, the blaze took more than 10 hours to put out.

Here are a few photos that Lelievre shared with me in the aftermath of the fire.


The fire on Saturday in Dukezong burned for more than 10 hours, state media reported. (Photo courtesy of Matthieu Lelievre)


Kersang’s Relay Station hotel suffered minor damage in the fire, the owner said. (Photo courtesy of Matthieu Lelievre)


The inside of the hotel. (Photo courtesy of Matthieu Lelievre)


One of Dukezong’s landmarks, a giant prayer wheel (top left), was not damaged in the fire. (Photo courtesy of Matthieu Lelievre)

One thought on “Hotel survives fire that razed ancient town

  1. Pingback: Friday Hyperlinks: 2,800 cats saved from slaughterhouse, one Chinese language scholar’s hilarious account of his American expertise, and Beijing hockey | That's Beijing - Beijing and China News

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