Fire sparked when a candle touched off a mosquito net swept the northern Burmese city of Meiktila, killing at least 20 people and destroying more than 5,000 buildings, official Burmese television reported.

"A fire caused by negligence broke out in Meiktila at 7:40 p.m. (Sunday) and destroyed 5,125 government buildings, schools, and houses in six wards and rendered over 25,000 people homeless," the television report said.