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January 31, 2012

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Police say kids started car lot blaze

THREE children started a blaze that destroyed 14 new cars in a car lot, police said yesterday.

As they are minors, their parents may have to compensate for the losses at the car sales business on Xiewei Road, Minhang District, officers added.

No one was injured in the fire last Thursday afternoon.

Witnesses said cars in the forecourt included Kia, Skoda, Volkswagen and Audi models.

No details were given as to which cars were destroyed, nor their value.

The alarm was raised when thick smoke was seen rising from the parking lot.

"Many cars were already on fire and there were cracking sounds of explosions," a witness wrote on his microblog.

Police learned that three children had been playing with matches and set dry grass around the parking lot ablaze.

The fire was soon out of control and spread to the cars, officers said.

More than 10 fire engines rushed to the scene to deal with the blaze, police said.

Meanwhile, eight stores went up in flames in the city's Pudong New Area in the early hours of yesterday morning, causing damage estimated at millions of yuan. No one was injured.

The fire was reported about 1am on Dongting Road and the gutted shops include a convenience store, a garage, several restaurants and a computer repair shop.

Gas cylinders were found at the scene. Investigations were continuing last night.


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