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Deadly HCM City blaze kills 1, destroys 3 houses

Update: December, 31/2014 - 14:15
The fire started from a signboard of New karaoke parlour on Tran Quoc Thao Street, District 3, at around 9PM. It quickly spread to the adjacent Idol karaoke parlour and a motorbike showroom before continuing to spread to nearby buildings. — Photos Vnexpress

HCM CITY (VNS) — A young man was killed in a huge blaze that broke out in a karaoke parlour in downtown HCM City on Tuesday night, destroying three buildings and badly damaging five others.

Nguyen Van Bang, deputy director of the HCM City Fire Prevention and Control Department, who addressed a press briefing at 2AM on Wednesday, said the fire started from a signboard of New karaoke parlour on Tran Quoc Thao Street, District 3, at around 9PM.

It quickly spread to the adjacent Idol karaoke parlour and a motorbike showroom before continuing to spread to nearby buildings.

More than 220 firefighters and 28 fire trucks from several districts arrived at the site 10 minutes after the fire broke out and basically brought in under control within an hour. They put it out by midnight, according to police officials.

According to witnesses, there had been an electrical short circuit and explosion at a karaoke parlour before the blaze began. People in the vicinity rushed out of their houses while some got stuck on roofs.

Several people said the blaze began in News signboard soon after the explosion.

The fire spread rapidly due to the soundproof materials used in the karaoke parlours. The two parlours and the motorbike showroom were reduced to ash.

The identity of the victim is not known.

According to local authorities, karaoke parlours had been inspected for fire safety early in December when parlour owners and also nearby residents were warned about the danger of fires.

Tat Thanh Cang, deputy chairman of the HCM City Peoples Committee, who visited the spot, called on the local authorities to provide temporary accommodation for people whose houses were destroyed or damaged in the fire and to step up inspection during the run-up to Tet.

The site has been cordoned off for investigation into the cause of the fire. — VNS

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