11 Die in Fire at Home for People on Welfare in Northern Japan (News)


Sapporo, Feb. 1 (Jiji Press)—Eleven people have died in a fire at a residential facility mainly for those on welfare in Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaidō.

Around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday (2:40 p.m. GMT), a passerby made an emergency call to fire authorities reporting the blaze.

The fire was brought under control around 5:15 a.m. Thursday after destroying the two-story wooden building with a total floor space of about 400 square meters, and the bodies of 11 people believed to be residents of the facility were discovered at the site.

The facility, aimed at helping people on welfare become financially independent, had a total of 16 residents, including elderly people, according to the Hokkaido police department and the Sapporo fire department.

The police are working to identify the 11 victims--eight men and three women--and investigating the cause of the fire.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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