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3 firemen dead in Xinjiang hotel fire, another wounded

URUMQI -- A fireman missing in a building fire that is raging in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi has been found dead, bringing the death toll to three fire fighters, a municipal government spokesman said on Thursday. Another firefighter was reported injured.

There were no reports of civilian casualties so far and the fire had been brought under control by Thursday afternoon, the spokesman added.

The fire in a 12-story building in the downtown area of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region capital started on Wednesday evening and had raged until Thursday afternoon, spreading to an adjacent hotel.

Fire fighters had stopped containing the initial fire in the Dehui International Plaza since the building might collapse. It continued to burn.

They had instead turned their attention to the 20-story hotel, which had been cleared of occupants. The fire in the building's first seven floors had been extinguished.

The fire started from a mop stall on the first floor of the market building, a spokesman of the Xinjiang regional brigade of fire control cited an eye witness as saying.

The lower floors of the market building where vendors stalls were located had been totally burnt out, while the 10th to 12th floors were still ablaze.

The Dehui International Plaza contained the booths of more than 2,000 vendors selling clothes, cosmetics, toys and various kinds of commodities from the basement up to its fourth floor. The fifth to 12th floors were used as offices.

The market was cleared of customers at 8:00 p.m. and not many people were left in the building when the fire broke out at 8:20 p.m. on Wednesday, said a security guard.

A woman vendor surnamed Tan said she rushed with her husband to the building in an attempt to transfer their goods after hearing about the fire. But they had to stand 100 meters away and helplessly watch as the blaze engulfed the market.

She said her goods lost in the fire were worth more than 200,000 yuan (about 27,400 U.S. dollars).


Fire Damages Restaurants, Forces Evacuations At Blytheville Hotel

A fire Thursdsay morning at the Holiday Inn at Blytheville destroyed two restaurants plus the hotel's conference and meeting rooms.

No injuries were reported, but the fire consumed the Perkins Restaurant and the Bistro Eleven-21 Club. The front lobby of the hotel, the front row of rooms of the hotel, the Holidome and the rooms down the east side of the hotel all suffered smoke and water damage.

Firefighters were summoned to the 155-room hotel at 1:20 a.m.

Blytheville Fire Captain Rex Wilhite says no cause has been determined but that it appears the blaze started in the furnace area in the attic.

Holiday Inn owner Don Houseworth says the hotel will reopen within a few days and that he wants the restaurants open again within six weeks.

Firefighters were hampered by temperatures in the lower teens. Water at the scene froze, making the footing difficult and causing some firefighters to slip and fall, though without apparent injury.

East Main Street was closed until 7:30 a.m., and a highway crew had to spread sand on an area of the street where runoff water froze.


Firefighters evacuate Boca Marriott Hotel after receiving alarm
Published January 8th, 2008

Boca Raton firefighters evacuated the Marriott Hotel at 5550 Town Center Circle Thursday night after a fire alarm sounded. Fire crews investigated and initially found no sign of a blaze, said fire department spokesman Frank Correggio. However, they later tracked down a small fire in an elevator room and extinguished it.

Crews responded after a fire alarm was activated, Correggio said. The alarm panel showed that a smoke detector in the west elevator room had been activated.

Upon investigation, he said, light smoke was found on three floors. Firefighters upgraded the alarm to a possible structure fire and evacuated more than 200 guests as they made the way up through the building to check for fire.

Firefighters reached the roof where they found a small fire in the elevator room, in the motor. After extinguishing the fire, crews used special exhaust fans to vent the smoke.

No injuries were reported, Correggio said, adding that the hotel guests were allowed to return to their rooms within an hour



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