Fierce flames consumed a one-story house in the northern port city of Hai Phong early Monday, killing all six family members, the police said.
Authorities recovered the charred bodies at around 8:45 am. Neighbors near the house at an alley off Nguyen Duc Canh Street, Le Chan District, said they smelled something burning at around 3 am and the house went on fire two hours later.
Local authorities have confirmed the identities of the victims. They are Nguyen Quang Vinh, 46, his wife Pham Thi Kieu (41), their two sons Nguyen Quang Minh (19) and Nguyen Thanh Trung (12) and their parents Nguyen Thuy Dieu (82) and Luu Thi Phuong (81).
Kieu was three months pregnant when the fire happened.
Neighbors said the couple ran a garment shop, where they stored a large amount of cloth.
The neighbors said they had tried to break into the house as the fire started to rage, but to no avail.
Someone called Kieu’s cell phone and she screamed back, saying they were trapped as the burning cloth blocked the entrance.
The neighbors called back after a while but no one picked up the phone.
Nguyen Thi Nghia, deputy chief of the Hai Phong municipal Party unit, and the city’s vice mayors Do Trung Thoai and Nguyen Xuan Binh have arrived at the scene to instruct rescue and investigation.
Binh said: “This is a heartbreaking accident. Fire police spent a lot of time breaking the door as it was locked from inside.”
The police said the cloth fire caused a lot of smoke which could have asphyxiated the victims. One fire policeman also passed out due to he dense smoke.
Further investigations are underway.
Deadly fires are common in Vietnam and are generally blamed on a lack of fire-safety measures.