TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After a fire was reported at an establishment in one township of Hualien County yesterday evening (June 19), firefighters were accidentally dispatched to the wrong location with a similar name in another township, resulting in NT$1 million (US$33,000) in property damage, reported CNA.
At 5:23 p.m. last night, the Hualien County Fire Department received a report that a fire had broken out at a location that had the words "Jixiang Hot Spring" in its name. Firefighters immediately rushed to Yuli Township to an establishment called "Jixiang Hot Spring Lodge" (吉祥溫泉民宿), however, once they arrived they found no fire.
They then realized that the actual fire was in neighboring Ruisui Township at a different establishment with a similar name - "Jixiang Garden Hot Spring" (吉祥庭園溫泉). A second unit of firefighters that was hastily dispatched to the correct location encountered a two-story structure that was spewing a thick plume of black smoke and was completely engulfed in flames.
By the time the fire was finally brought under control at 6:30 p.m., the wooden structure had been completely torched. Fortunately, all occupants had been able to evacuate the premises in time and there were no reports of injuries.
After waiting for 35 minutes for firefighters to arrive, the owner of the establishment began to suspect that they had gone to the wrong address, thus delaying the containment of the blaze and resulting in more extensive damage. The Hualien County Fire Department said that it is investigating the cause of the mistake.
The owners of the property estimate that the fire caused more than NT$1 million in damages. They also said that there had recently been a number of power outages, followed by repairs, but whether an electrical problem was the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Structure completely engulfed in flames. (CNA image)