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September 18, 2010

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Six-hour fight after two warehouses go on fire

FIREFIGHTERS fought for six hours to contain a blaze in the Pudong New Area, bringing it under control early yesterday morning.

About 100 people evacuated during the fire that destroyed two warehouses in which paraffin wax was being stored. They were allowed home about 3am.

Two firefighters were slightly injured.

The fire began at about 7:23pm in Pudong's Gaoqiao area, one of city's key export processing zones.

The flame, about 10 floors high, could be seen from several kilometers away.

More than 30 fire engines rushed to the scene but were held up by badly parked trucks blocking their way and a helicopter was used to help put out the fire from the air, police said.

"We called in the helicopter as the situation was not good down there," said Guo Yonghua, the city's deputy police chief.

The fire was put out at about 1:28am yesterday. The warehouses were burned down to their frames. More than 3,000 square meters of storage area was damaged.

Witnesses said they saw the fire first bursting out from an appliance repair store next to the warehouses. Authorities said they were still investigating what had caused the fire.

City environmental authorities said the blaze had not caused any damage to the environment.

Tests showed that air quality in the area had quickly returned to normal levels after the fire was put out, environment officials said.

Waterways nearby were also unaffected.


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