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August 15, 2009

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Couple, daughter die in city shop fire

A MAN and woman from Jiangsu Province and their four-year-old daughter were killed when a fire began in the small shop they operated and spread to their apartment above, officials in Shanghai's Jiading District said yesterday. The cause of the fire was still under investigation.

The blaze damaged parts of a three-story structure on Yulu Road in Jiading's Malu Town shortly before midnight on Thursday. The family's first-floor shop was destroyed.

The bodies were found in a second-floor apartment, where the family lived and stored goods, and were sent for autopsies to determine the cause of death. The apartment also sustained extensive damage.

Police said the father was surnamed Yao and the mother Cai. The name of the child was not released.

The couple's 19-year-old son rushed back to the city from Jiangsu along with relatives yesterday.

The fire broke the tranquility of the small town at about 11:30pm, according to the residents.

"I heard some cracking sounds in the store before the flames broke out, and I thought the couple were fighting with each other," said a woman who lives nearby.

Five neighbors in a repair shop and shoe shop nearby tried to put out the fire but failed.

"We broke the iron rolling door and the flames burst out instantly," said Xia Min, from the shoe store. "There were many flammables in the shop and the fire spread very quickly."

Firefighters had the blaze under control by around 12:30am yesterday.

The family opened the shop two years ago, selling hardware, home electrical appliances, ice cream, stationery and daily commodities.


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