Fifteen killed in apartment fire in Osaka, Japan

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Osaka City, where the fire occurred
Image: Chris 73.

A seven story concrete apartment building in the Naniwanaka Naniwa Ward of Osaka, Japan was set ablaze, killing at least 15 people. The fire started early in the morning on October 1st in the Video DVD Cat sex shop on the first floor.

At least eight people were rescued from the building, four of whom were seriously injured in the fire. Most of the injuries and deaths were caused by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. According to authorities, all of the fatalities were in private viewing rooms in a video shop that was located on the first floor of the building.

The sex shop had 32 cubicles for watching videos, all of which were equipped with a bed, television, and video deck. Due to the beds, and a shower, shops like this are often used as cheap hotels. A customer, who fled to safety when the fire started, said to the media that the inside of shop was dark, and that he had difficulty seeing where he was going as he escaped.

Witnesses said that they first noticed a burning smell at 2:30am local time, and that the fire was reported to Osaka Fire Department around 3am. 40 fire trucks and 120 firefighters took part in the efforts to bring the blaze under control. The fire was extinguished at around 4:30am, after burning for about one and a half hours. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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