HCMC conflagration kills 1, burns 8 houses

An unidentified man died in the violent fire that burned two karaoke bars and six other buildings in Ho Chi Minh City last night

The fire seen from a karaoke bar on Le Van Sy Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City on the night of December 29, 2014

A violent fire that burned two karaoke bars, a motorbike shop, two clothing shops and three houses in Ho Chi Minh City last night killed an unidentified man, authorities reported.   

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The fire broke out at about 9:07 pm Tuesday on an advertising  panel at New karaoke bar at 180 Tran Quoc Thao Street, District 3, Nguyen Van Dieu, chairman of the district People’s Committee, said at a press briefing held at 1:50 am Wednesday in the presence of Tat Thanh Cang, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee.

The fire spread to  neighboring Suzuki motorbike shop and then to another karaoke bar – Idol – before burning two clothing shops and three houses, Dieu said. 

Many people from the two karaoke bars and the other houses tried to escape the fire.

The burnt body of the dead man, who has yet to be identified, was found on the first floor of the Idol karaoke bar.
Five minutes after the blaze began local firefighters and their counterparts from Districts 1, 4, 10 and Binh Thanh were sent to the scene to extinguish the fire.

More than 220 firefighters and 28 fire engines, along with five water pumps, were deployed to the scene.

Hundreds of people from other forces including rescuers, health workers and police were also sent to the area.

Several ambulances were also deployed to the scene.

The fire was put under control by 10 pm, Dieu said.

“Eight buildings have been damaged in the fire, of which the two karaoke bars and the bike shop were totally burned while the other five suffered damage of different levels,” he added.  

The area is being protected and police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Two people were arrested when they tried to steal motorbikes in the area while firefighters were combating the fire, police said.

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