Blaze kills at least 7 in Ho Chi Minh City

By Cong Nguyen, Thanh Nien News

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 A relative of the victims cries at the scene.





Fierce flames swallowed a two-story home on a popular shopping street in Ho Chi Minh City, early Tuesday, killing at least seven people, the city police announced.

Authorities recovered the charred bodies at around 8 a.m. Neighbors said that 11 people lived at the house at 416 Nguyen Trai Street in District 5 and they sold hair care products. Police said they're still searching the scene for others.

The victims belonged to two families, including two couples and their three children -- the youngest of whom was 18 years old.
Neighbors said the house caught fire five hours earlier.
Witnesses told Thanh Nien News they first noticed flames on the first floor at around 3 a.m. before spreading to the top floor.
Locals used fire extinguishers to battle the flames and screamed to alarm the families asleep inside.
They heard no replies.

Five fire trucks were mobilized to the scene 15 minutes after they were called. The crews put out the fire after an hour-long battle.

The victims appear to have died of smoke inhalation, firefighters said.

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