A fire broke out in a house in the northern city of Hai Phong this morning, killing six members of a family, local authorities reported.
The fire occurred at house No. 14, alley 136, Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Cat Dai Ward, Le Chan District, at 5 am Monday.
Local residents said they noticed a burning smell in the area around 3:00 am and saw flames burst out in the house about two hours later.
At that time, six people were inside the house, including a man and his wife, named Vinh and Kieu, their two children, and the man’s parents.
Locals who saw the fire tried to force the door to the house open to save the family but they failed.
They called Kieu and she said she and her relatives could not get out as the fire was burning a pile of fabrics by the main door, blocking their exit.
The attic of the house, where the bodies of the six victims were found. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Neighbors called firefighters to the scene and called Kieu again, but no one answered the phone.
Police officers were deployed to the scene to maintain order and safety for other people in the area.
Standing Deputy Secretary of the Hai Phong Party Committee Nguyen Thi Nghia and two deputies of the local People’s Committee, Do Trung Thoai and Nguyen Xuan Binh, also arrived at the scene to direct rescue and firefighting efforts.
“This is a heartbreaking fire. It took a lot of time for firefighters to force the door open as it was locked from the inside,” Binh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
At 7:30 am, after getting the fire under control, firefighters found six bodies in the attic of the house.
Relatives of the six victims mourn over their deaths. Photo: Tuoi Tre
At 8:30 am, the first three bodies were removed from the house, inside which the fire was still smoldering, police told Tuoi Tre.
Of the three corpses, two were of Vinh’s parents, police said, adding that they were in the process of identifying the third body.
At 8:45 am, three more bodies were removed from the house.
At 9:00 am the Cat Dai Ward People’s Committee reported that the six victims included Nguyen Duc Vinh, 46; his wife, Nguyen Thi Kieu, 41; their two children, Nguyen Quang Minh, 19, and Nguyen Van Trung, 12; and Vinh’s parents, Nguyen Thuy Dieu, 82, and his wife, Nguyen Thi Phuong, 81.
The house has only one door, so when the fire blocked it they could not get out.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire, while initial sources said it might have been caused by a short circuit.