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April 28, 2012

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Boy, mom, grandma all die in fire at restaurant

THREE members of a family, including a four-year-old boy, died in a fire yesterday morning in a dumpling restaurant in a suburban town in the Pudong New Area.

The other two victims were the boy's 28-year-old mother and 51-year-old grandmother. The father and grandfather of the boy managed to escape unharmed.

The family owns the dumpling restaurant at 19 Wan'an Street and lived in an attic above it. The victims were asleep when the fire broke out about 5:30am and were suffocated by the thick smoke, witnesses said.

The scene was cordoned by the police at 7am and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

"I still can't believe it. The boy just had dinner with us last night," said their neighbor surnamed Fang, who owns a duck soup restaurant aside the dumpling restaurant. "My son can't accept it, either. He cried this morning. The two boys were good friends."

Massive smoke was seen billowing out of the restaurant and climbing above the six-story building.

"The smoke was thick and massive," said a witness who left home early in the morning to buy breakfast. "It was like mushrooms and kept rising into the sky."

Pudong police said they got the call at 6:14am and the fire department put out the fire around 6:40am.

Fang said she was shocked when coming to open her restaurant around 8am yesterday.

"It's all over for them overnight. I just can't believe it. I'm so sorry for them," she told Shanghai Daily.

"It was too early and the shops around did not open and everyone upstairs was asleep."

Fang said the family used to operate their restaurant in a building across the street and moved to the current location only about a year ago.


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