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December 25, 2009

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Residents warned of fire risks

THE city's fire control authorities have warned residents to take more care after a spate of fires over the past month.

There had been about 900 fires since winter began, and 12 people had died, Chen Fei, director of Shanghai Fire Control Bureau, said.

"Everything is so dry this season and we should keep an eye on every fire potential," Chen said yesterday.

"Most cases happened in the old lane houses and old apartment buildings," said Zhou Meiliang, a bureau official.

Zhou said the use of gas and electrical appliances was increasing with the change in the weather. "But a lot of residents, especially those elderly and living alone, lack the awareness of the potential fire hazard while using appliances."

An old lane house caught fire on Tuesday afternoon in the city's Changning District. No one was injured, said police. The fire was spotted at 1:30pm and put out about 20 minutes later.

The house on Wanhangdu Road was rented to migrant workers who were at work when the fire broke out, witnesses said.

Similarly, an old house on Zhongshan Road N., rented by migrant workers, went on fire last Saturday. No one was injured. The fire department said the fire, caused by old wiring, was hard to put out as the house was in a narrow lane.

On December 7, an apartment caught fire in a residential building in the Pudong New Area. The fire broke out about 4pm on the fourth floor of the building on Pudian Road and trapped a 90-year-old man on the fifth floor.

The fire department said the man was rescued but the apartments were severely damaged.

The previous day, an apartment building in an old lane neighborhood in Zhabei District caught fire.

The fire, caused by a short circuit, destroyed the entire three-story building but fortunately no one was at home.

The same day, fire broke out in an empty apartment in Minhang District in the afternoon. Joss sticks and candles left burning were blamed.


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