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5 dead, 1 injured in Miaoli building fire

11/28/2023 11:19 AM
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The fire scene. Photo courtesy of a private contributor Nov. 28, 2023
The fire scene. Photo courtesy of a private contributor Nov. 28, 2023

Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) A fire that broke out in a building in Miaoli County early Tuesday has left five people dead, including two children, and another injured, according to the county's Fire Bureau.

A report of a blaze on Zhonghua Road in Toufen City was received at around 2:12 a.m. Tuesday, deputy chief of the bureau's Third Fire Control and Rescue Group Lin Yu-hsing (林育興) said.

Firefighters were immediately dispatched to the site, where they found a three-story building, with a Vietnamese restaurant on the first floor, engulfed in flames, Lin said.

Two males and three females were pulled from the building's second and third floors, but all were found suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. They were later pronounced dead by a hospital after all efforts to resuscitate them failed.

Two of the deceased females were children aged 5 and 8, the bureau said. It did not provide any other information on the three other people who died.

The injured person was a woman later identified as a Vietnamese national, who was being treated for ankle sprains after she jumped from a third-floor window to escape the fire.

The fire was extinguished over an hour later at 3:48 a.m., the bureau said without elaborating, indicating that the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Based on the account of neighboring residents, the Vietnamese restaurant was run by a woman who lived in the building with three other family members, while the third floor often saw migrant workers come and go.

People in neighboring buildings also claimed hearing loud noises for about 20 minutes before smoke was observed coming from the building.

(By Kuan Jui-ping and Ko Lin)

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