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Deadly fire likely caused by power cable short circuit: Hsinchu gov't

05/28/2024 09:58 PM
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An area of the burned building in Hsinchu City is pictured after an overnight fire was extinguished on Monday. Photo courtesy of a private contributor
An area of the burned building in Hsinchu City is pictured after an overnight fire was extinguished on Monday. Photo courtesy of a private contributor

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) A preliminary investigation indicates that a short circuit in a power cable may have caused the fire at an apartment complex in Hsinchu City that claimed the lives of two firefighters, the city government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The fire, which broke out in the apartment complex late Sunday, likely originated with a power cable on the basement's first floor, the local government said, citing investigation results from the city's Fire Bureau.

It added that comprehensive details on the cause of the fire will not be available until the full report is finished.

Speaking with CNA, an official with the Fire Bureau said investigators found smoke exhaust dampers open in the building's safety stairwell, suggesting they were functional when the fire first broke out.

However, the smoke exhaust fan may have stopped working later when the cable was burned, preventing it from transferring electricity when the backup power generator turned on.

According to the bureau, residents in the apartment complex were permitted to retrieve their belongings starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The fatal fire at the apartment complex comprising four 28-floor buildings on Ciyun Road was reported at 10:55 p.m. Sunday with the blaze largely brought under control around 40 minutes later.

Hundreds of residents have since been evacuated. During the incident, some children were rushed to a hospital after inhaling smoke, and two firefighters were found having dead in a stairwell after they earlier reported their oxygen was running out trying to rescue people trapped in dense smoke.

(By Kuo Hsuan-wen and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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