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Fire at pet shop in Taiwan kills 1 dog, damages 5 houses

06/23/2024 12:55 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Hualien County Fire Department
Photo courtesy of the Hualien County Fire Department

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) One pet dog was killed and five two-story houses were destroyed during a fire that broke out at a pet store in Hualien City, eastern Taiwan Saturday night, a firefighter said on Sunday, as investigators probe the cause of the blaze.

Lu Kuan-chen (呂冠辰), a division chief with the Hualien County Fire Department, told CNA that the fire at the pet store on Zhongshan Road destroyed the store and four houses adjacent to it.

Heavy equipment was deployed to fight the fast-spreading fire, which significantly damaged the scene during firefighting, making the fire investigation challenging, Lu said.

Given the degree of destruction, the exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined, he said.

The Hualien County Fire Department received a call at 8:53 p.m. Saturday that flames were spotted coming out of a house on Zhongshan Rd., which was later identified as a pet store next to a Burger King chain restaurant, according to the department.

The flames swiftly spread to the adjacent stores, which were all two-story, 40 to 50-year-old houses, firefighters said. Most of the aging houses had wooden decorations, which complicated efforts to extinguish the violent fire, they added.

According to the fire department, more than 150 personnel and 45 vehicles were mobilized to put out the fire, which was controlled at 11:40 p.m. Saturday, and eventually put out at around 4 a.m. Sunday.

During the firefighting, more than 20 pet dogs were rescued from the scene, including 20 owned by the fire-hit pet store.

(By Li Hsien-feng, Chang Chi and Elizabeth Hsu)


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