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Blaze kills steel cutter

A MAN was killed this morning when he was cutting steel in a basement that caught fire on Bao'an Road, suburban Jiading District.

He was the fifth person to die in a fire in Shanghai in the past two weeks, prompting warnings to take care with blazes in winter.

Yesterday's fire at 7:47am quickly spread up from the 200-square-meter basement to the three-floor dormitory above, according to Jiading police.

It destroyed a shop on the first floor and also burned through the windows and doors of the dormitories, but no one else was hurt.

According to the police, three workers were cutting steel with an open flame when sparks ignited inflammable materials. Two men escaped but the third, in his 40s, died.

A witness surnamed Huang said he saw black smoke rising from the basement to shroud the whole street.

"The heavy smoke was thick like fog," said Huang. "Lots of people rushed from the building, some still wearing pajamas."

Shanghai Public Security Bureau reported 260 fire accidents in the past two weeks, 40 percent higher than in the previous two weeks.


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