Deadly Taipei fire reveals miserable conditions in unregistered 'nursing home'

Three people lived together in cramped conditions before dying in fire


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire that broke out at a private, unregistered "nursing home" in Taipei’s Neihu District on Tuesday (Sept. 22) left three dead and revealed the deplorable conditions they had been living in.

According to Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), the fire started at 2:38 p.m., and firefighters arrived at the scene at 2:43 p.m. The blaze was put out at 3:07 p.m.

CNA quoted Huang as saying that when firefighters arrived, the door was locked and plumes of thick smoke were coming out of the building, forcing them to break down the door. Upon entry, they found three people lying on three of the four beds inside the house.

All three were sent to Tri-Service General Hospital, where a 70-year-old man surnamed Chuang (莊) and 59-year-old man surnamed Liu (劉) died on Tuesday. The third victim, surnamed Chen (陳), passed away Wednesday morning (Sept. 23), per CNA.

The deputy mayor said the unregistered facility had housed the three victims and that when the fire broke out, no staff were present. Placing the three together in such a cramped environment is unacceptable, she said.

Huang quoted neighbors as saying that they had never seen the so-called care center open its doors to the public. Normal nursing homes follow stringent safety standards, Huang said, urging the public not to send their family members to unregistered facilities like this one.

The owner of the unregistered building, surnamed Ting (丁), is currently being questioned by police. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, CNA reported.

Owner of illegal nursing home (CNA photo)