VietNamNet Bridge – On March 11, a fire broke out from the first floor of a furniture store of hundreds of square meters on Au Co Road, Tay Ho district, Hanoi and spread quickly, making the five-story steel frame building collapse. More than 10 houses around were also damaged.
The fire broke out at around 12:15am on first floor, where there were many combustible materials such as mattresses, wood cabinets and it spread to the other floors. People inside the shop were panicked and ran out.
“When fires occurred, some people called the firefighting forces, but not until 30 minutes later were the police finally present, although their fire trucks did not have water,” Mrs. Van, a neighbor said.
At 12h45pm, fire trucks and dozens of police officers wearing masks approached the house from many sides. The fire still spread to more than 10 nearby houses. Firefighters had to chisel the balcony of a house to put hose through to control the fire.
At 2pm, the fire was not controlled yet. Bulldozers were used to clean up the collapsed steel frames to enable fire-fighters to closely approach the inside fire.
After nearly two hours, the fire was under control, but smoke still rose from the basement. At the scene, the entire five-storey house of hundreds of square meters wide, with steel frames, collapsed. More than 10 adjoining houses were also harmed.
Colonel Nguyen Van Son, Chief of Hanoi Fire-fighting Police Bureau said more than 10 fire engines were mobilized to the scene. The fire was under control at 14:30, no one was injured.
Explaining why the fire-fighting force was present at the scene 30 minutes after they were informed of the fire and their fire trucks did not have water, Col. Son said that the nearest fire team is located far from the site and at the region where the fires occurred there is no water station.
According to witnesses, the fire could be caused by soldering workers who unintentionally made sparks to fall on furniture on the first floor, causing the fire.