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'Slumdog' star among 2,000 made homeless by fire in Mumbai shanty town

"Slumdog Millionaire" child star Rubina Ali said Saturday that her home had burned down in a fire that raged through a crowded slum in the Indian city of Mumbai, injuring 21 people and leaving about 2,000 homeless.Most of the awards that she received for her role as a poverty-stricken child in the Oscar-winning film were destroyed in the blaze that erupted in the Garib Nagar slum late Friday, the
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

"Slumdog Millionaire" child star Rubina Ali said Saturday that her home had burned down in a fire that raged through a crowded slum in the Indian city of Mumbai, injuring 21 people and leaving about 2,000 homeless.

Most of the awards that she received for her role as a poverty-stricken child in the Oscar-winning film were destroyed in the blaze that erupted in the Garib Nagar slum late Friday, the 12-year-old said.

She said that she and other members of her family were watching television when they heard shouts of a fire and ran out of their tin-roofed shanty.

Rubina said she had lost all her awards and her collection of newspaper clippings and photographs from the success of the 2008 film.

"It's all gone. Even my best clothes, everything," a tearful-sounding Rubina said over the telephone.

"We only have a few clothes left, we tried hard to salvage whatever we could before the fire spread. My pictures at the Oscars, all my memories, are all gone," Ali added, speaking to Reuters.

"We just grabbed what we could and dashed out. The fire spread so fast we couldn't get back in," said Rafiq Ali, Rubina's father.

Police were investigating the cause of the fire. Fires often break out in Mumbai's sprawling slums, usually sparked by electrical short circuits from the many thousands of illegal power connections.

The child star said the family was yet to move into a new apartment paid for by a trust set up by the film's director, Danny Boyle.

Boyle had promised that he would provide both her and her co-star Azharuddin houses in Mumbai.

While Azharuddin moved into his new house in July 2009, Ali is due to move into an apartment within the next couple of months in Bandra, one of Mumbai's most expensive suburbs, and home many Bollywood stars.

"We have found a flat for them and they will move in in the next couple of months," Neerja Mattoo, a member of the "Jai Ho" trust, set up to look after the children's education and other needs said.

Rubina played the young Latika in "Slumdog Millionaire," the rags-to-riches blockbuster that won eight Oscars.