Chengzhongcheng Fire Takes Five Hours to Extinguish 老舊"城中城"屋齡40年 7-11樓多為套房出租

The 40-year-old Chengzhongcheng building previously housed a department store and movie theater. Its seventh to 11th floors are currently inexpensive rental units with tenants that are disadvantaged or senior citizens living alone. This is the building's second fire.


Because of the amount of rubbish being stored in public areas and complex inner workings, it took firefighters five hours to put out the fire at this Yancheng District building. Firefighters spent some time searching the building floor by floor from the seventh floor up. Some residents were trapped in their homes for seven hours and didn't make it out until 9 a.m.

Trapped Resident:"I was on a higher floor. The fire started on a lower floor. (So you didn't make it out until just now, is that right?) Yes. I was rescued by the fire truck ladder."

Lee Ching-hsiu, Commissioner, Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau:"Some of the residents were trapped behind closed or locked doors. We had to break down some of the doors to search inside. There might be more OHCA residents."

The 40-year-old Chengzhongcheng building previously housed a department store and movie theater. Its seventh to 11th floors are currently inexpensive rental units, while the first floor houses a secondhand electronics store. Police estimate the building has 208 residential units with 120 residents. As the units are mostly low-rent -- some not even having water or electricity -- the majority of tenants are disadvantaged or senior citizens living alone. 

Area Resident:"It's unclear who the owners are. The building has been around for a long time and most of the units are studios."

Voice of Area Resident:"It's really old. (It's really old, like a few decades old). There was another fire previously, and now it's happened again."

Efforts to renovate or rebuild the building have not been successful due to unclear ownership. This was the building's second fire. Witnesses say there was a couple arguing and smoking outside the building shortly before an explosion was heard. 

Lin Chuan-fu, Beili Borough Chief:"(Someone reported hearing) an argument or something like that in the middle of the night."

Meanwhile, social welfare and household registration workers are helping to resettle residents
 

 

 

火勢在上午7時左右才撲滅,由於大樓內部堆滿了雜物、動線複雜,也增加救援難度,火勢延燒約5個小時才撲滅。消防人員除了持續灑水,內部則派人分組,從七樓開始逐層搜索,有民眾受困7個小時,到上午九點多,才坐雲梯車脫困。

受困民眾表示:「我是在樓上,燒起來是下面。(所以你到剛剛才出來就對了?) 對!就剛好他們雲梯車上來,我才出來。」

高雄市消防局長 李清秀表示:「有些住戶,他可能門是關閉的,或者是鎖住的情況。也會去做一些破壞,然後進去搜索,可能到院前沒有呼吸、心跳的狀況,還是會持續增加。」

這棟位於鹽埕的"城中城大樓",屋齡將近40年,早年曾開過百貨公司、影城,屬於商辦混合住宅,沒落後,7樓至11樓為住家,一樓賣二手電器,警方初估總戶數為208戶,有120戶住在裡頭,住家多為小套房,有些甚至沒水沒電,但因租金便宜,許多弱勢民眾或年長者承租。

鄰近住戶表示:「這產權不太清楚,這很久了,而且裡面大部分都是小套房。」

鄰近住戶表示:「很久了! (已經很久了,幾十年了。) 之前也燒過,現在又再燒了。」

城中城雖也曾想都更,卻因產權不清無法進行,截至目前至少有過2次火警,但14號半夜這場大火,卻有目擊者聽到疑似有情侶吵架後沒多久就傳出爆炸聲。

高市鹽埕區府北里長 林傳富表示:「(有民眾聽到)半夜好像有口角,或什麼之類的。」目前先請社福、民政局協助,安置住戶。

 

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