TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire occurred in the early morning on Sunday (Nov. 12) in Ji’an Township, Hualien, with one person reported dead and three others with serious injuries.
Strong winds and flammable materials caused the fire to spread rapidly, with eight homes severely damaged in the blaze, reported UDN. An 18-year-old high school student was discovered dead on the second floor of one of the buildings.
The fire was first reported around 12:20 a.m., and 10 vehicles with over 20 firefighters were immediately dispatched to the scene. The fire was extinguished by 1:00 a.m.
The young student, surnamed Jiang (江), reportedly first ran to the roof with his father and sister but decided to reenter the burning building to get his phone and call for help, reported LTN.
Jiang successfully contacted the fire department after retrieving his phone and alerted firefighters to his location on the second floor, but the call was abruptly cut short. It is understood that Jiang became trapped by flames on the second floor while trying to return to the roof.
Other victims include Jiang’s father and grandfather, aged 56 and 83, who are both receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital. Jiang’s 25-year-old sister was also treated for minor injuries.
The Jiang family as well as 14 other residents affected by the fire will be provided with temporary accommodation by the Hualien County Department of Social Affairs, per reports.
The fire is thought to have started in a first-floor garage where flammable materials were being stored. Authorities will conduct a thorough investigation to determine how the fire began.
Residential buildings burned in a fire early Sunday morning in Hualien, Nov. 12. (CNA photo)