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July 7, 2011

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Buildings burn as city bakes

AMID furnace-like weather yesterday, several fires were ignited around the city, including two that were considered serious. No one was injured.

The biggest fire erupted about 1:30pm, sweeping through an Internet cafe in Baoshan District. The three-story building on Gongkang Road housed the cafe on the third floor. Witnesses said customers using the cafe's computers quickly escaped when the fire broke out.

Firemen from 30 engines battled through flames and heavy smoke to control the blaze. While it took about four hours to get the fire extinguished, firefighters kept it from spreading to the building's lower floors.

About half an hour later, a dormitory for migrant workers on a construction site in the Pudong New Area caught fire, but it was put out quickly and there were no casualties reported.

A third fire, on Shangnan Road in Pudong, was also reported. The causes of the fires were under investigation, said police, and no damage estimates were reported.

Zhou Meiliang, an official with the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that car owners should make sure their vehicles are regularly maintained, because the scorching summer heat can cause overheated engines and exhaust pipes to catch fire, sometimes causing accidents.

Zhou also reminded residents to take care of their air conditioners. "The electric wires can be ignited from overload and long hours of operation," he noted.

Plants that manufacture flammable and combustible products are also fire-prone amid the high temperatures, officials said.


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