(CTN NEWS) – TOKYO – Four individuals were killed and four were critically injured on Sunday (Jan. 22) in a fire at an apartment building in Kobe, western Japan, a government official said.
Around 1.30am, an emergency call alerted the fire service to the fire in the three-story building (12.30am, Singapore time). Following its extinguishment, four bodies were discovered.
Masatoshi Sumitani of the Kobe fire department reported that four males, who ranged in age from 40 to 70, “were carried to hospital unconscious.”
According to Japanese media sources citing other building residents, most of the building’s occupants were considered elderly males.When the fire started, black smoke could be seen coming from a window on the first level, according to Kyodo News.
Later on Sunday, according to Sumitani, police will start looking into the fire’s cause.
The Apartment Was Constructed In 1963
The apartment complex, which has about 30 occupants, was constructed in 1963. Most elderly inhabitants in the building are pensioners who live alone.
According to the Japanese authorities, the first and second floors of the three-story building, which was around 300 square meters in size, burned up to a total of 60 square meters. The authorities also stated that the fire was largely put out in an hour.
One of the occupants, a 54-year-old guy, told Kyodo News that he heard a woman screaming about the fire and heard it when he woke up.
“I fled because my room was completely white with smoke,” he said. “A first-floor room was flaming bright red. The man exclaimed if I hadn’t noticed, I would have been in danger.
When they noticed smoke from the building, the neighbors sounded the alarms. The matter is still being investigated; the Japanese government told the media.
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