Ho Chi Minh City police are still investigating the cause of a fire at a department store that killed a married couple Thursday morning.
Ngo Van Tong, 46, and his wife Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, 43, died in the fire while their helper Tran Tan Phat, 23, managed to climbed out through the roof gutter at the back of the store on Hau Giang Street, near the city’s Chinatown.
“The store is around 20 meters long and there’s no window, so when the fire burst out, people inside couldn’t find away to escape,” the lone survivor said.
He said it was around 6 a.m. and he was sleeping when the couple shouted of fire, and he woke up when the front half of the house was on fire.
Phuong also followed him to clime up the gutter. When he was out, he tried to pull her over while hearing Tong’s screaming below, but smoke blew into his face and he could not hold on to her, Phat said.
He called for neighbors' help and fire police arrived soon later.
More than 60 officers arrived on eight trucks. They put out the fire and recovered the second body of the husband at 2 p.m.
Family and neighbors said the couple did not have children and were hard workers.
They had their own house and only slept at the shop as they left a nearby party late the previous night.
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