A raging fire swept through a number of kiosks in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday afternoon, causing the death of one woman and the destruction of multiple properties.
At 1:30 pm, the fire ignited and quickly got out of control in an area on Ben Binh Dong Street, District 8, home to many kiosks, and endangered the lives of many residents.
Police and firefighters arrived at the scene along with 16 fire engines, according to Colonel Hoang Van Thang, head of the local fire department.
After over an hour trying to control the raging inferno, the fire was finally extinguished.
At the scene, 11 kiosks along with the properties inside were damaged by the flames, six of which were completely destroyed, Col. Hoang Van Thang said.
“I was having lunch with my mother when I heard people screaming and we only just managed to take the motorbike out before the fire lost control,” said Nguyen Anh Tai, 44, who was one of the tenants living inside the kiosks.
It was unclear how and where the fire started, said Tran Thi Thanh Trang, a victim of the accident whose possessions, including clothes and household appliances, were completely destroyed.
The deceased victim was identified as Nguyen Thi Huynh Loan, a 27-year-old tenant who was trapped inside her rented facility when the inferno swept through the area.
“She was ill so I went out for some medicine while she was resting at home, and the fire erupted,” said Nguyen Thi Hue, the victim’s mother.
The rescue team and those living nearby tried to carve a hole into the back of the kiosk in which Loan was trapped in an effort to save her.
However, all attempts were too late as she was already deceased.
Local authorities are setting up an area for the victims whose houses were burnt down to temporarily settle in, according to Te Ngoc Duc, a local official.