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January 23, 2015

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Man arrested after car celebrations end in blaze

A MAN who set off firecrackers to celebrate buying a new vehicle that led to a blaze in a building materials market in Songjiang District has been arrested for unintentionally starting a fire, prosecutors said yesterday.

No one was injured in the blaze but stock and fittings worth more than 700,000 yuan (US$112,700) in nearby stores were damaged.

The motorist, surnamed Guo, who owns a store in the market, bought a Dongfeng van on December 5 last year.

To celebrate, he set up eight fireworks and eight firecrackers in front of his store.

A security guard asked Guo not to light them, but he went ahead with the celebration, according to prosecutors.

Sparks from the firecrackers set alight some flammable materials piled nearby and the fire quickly spread to neighboring stores.

The blaze took firefighters an hour to extinguish.

Stores located next to Guo’s shop suffered the worst damage, with a wood carving store reporting heavy losses.

Although Guo did not intend to cause a fire, he should be held responsible as he knew firecrackers were banned in the market and didn’t listen to the guard, prosecutors said.


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