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
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).