Six dead, one injured as fire engulfs south China store

Updated: 2008-06-12 12:52

HAIKOU -- Six people were killed and another was seriously injured when a shoe store in south China's island province of Hainan caught fire early on Wednesday, the local fire control authorities said on Thursday.

The dead included the five members of the storekeeper's family, and a shop assistant, the provincial fire control bureau in Haikou said without giving details.

The Hainan News newspaper reported the victims included 50-year-old Lin Hongxiu, his wife Pan Cuixia, 46, their two sons, aged 19 and 9, their 14-year-old daughter, and a 23-year-old employee surnamed Meng.

The Lin couple reportedly had seven children. Their youngest daughter, 12, was seriously injured and was in critical condition, the newspaper reported.

The shoe store, located in a commercial building in Hongqi Street of downtown Sanya, was engulfed in flames at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. More than 120 firemen and 12 fire engines were mobilized to put out the fire. Twenty-five people were evacuated from the building.

A witness surnamed Zhang, who lived close to the site, said he was woken up by cries for help. "I ran out and saw thick smoke everywhere. Most residents in the street were out there to see what was going on."

He said the fire was not put out until 4:24 a.m.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

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