TO hear that a fire that broke out in the dead of night in a ghetto in North Karachi, killing 40 people, 20 of whom were children, is almost past belief. According to reports, 30 huts, home to about 200 people, were gutted in the fire. It is frightening to know that this happened in the blink of an eye. Though the cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained, one hopes the authorities would leave no stone unturned in finding out the truth. That the fire was so intense that it instantly engulfed a large area, killing a number of people, indicates the possibility of sabotage, because a fire caused by a short circuit, or a leakage in a gas supply line for that matter, does not spread that quickly. Having said that, it must also be stated that the incident is a sad commentary on the state of disaster management in the country. Though some efforts have been made to better the rescue services in the city, the tragic incident proves that a lot has yet to be done to ensure safety of the citizens. Not long ago a fire in Ghakkar Plaza in Rawalpindi killed 12 people. If the government intends to prevent such accidents from happening again it would have to give the cities a decent dose of smart and innovative urban planning.