|Though in the first nine months there were only 221 blazes, down by more than half from the same period last year, they caused 15 deaths, an increase of nine. — Photo baomoi
HCM CITY (VNS) — Careless use of electricity has been the major cause of fires in HCM City this year, accounting for over 77 per cent of them, Colonel Le Tan Buu, director of the city Department of Fire Prevention and Fighting, said last Friday.
Though in the first nine months there were only 221 blazes, down by more than half from the same period last year, they caused 15 deaths, an increase of nine.
They also caused losses worth estimated VND44 billion (US$2.08 million) though in 28 cases they were not estimated.
Tan Binh District accounted for the largest number of fires – 20.
Nearly 50 per cent of all fires in the city occurred in private homes.
Around 84 per cent of the fires were investigated, and authorities said 77 per cent were caused by electricity leaks.
The fire department received over 830 calls reporting fire, two times the number last year.
There were also five explosions — almost a third down year-on-year — that killed five people, eight less than last year.
The department also received 81 calls for rescuing people. It managed to save 29, eight of them from fires, and find the bodies of 32 others.
Buu pointed out that most of the victims died due to smoke.
He said every house should have an emergency exit in case of fire, and announced that the department would step up education and training in fire prevention and fighting in residential areas and traditional markets.
He warned against indiscriminate burning of vegetation and garbage, which has caused many major fires, especially in hot weather. — VNS