TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire broke out in the basement of a Carrefour shopping center in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District early Sunday (Dec. 3) morning.
Fortunately, no one was injured and the fire was under control within an hour, reported UDN. After an initial investigation, it was discovered that three young men were playing with aerosol cans and lighters in the store where cleaning products and pesticides were stored.
The fire occurred at approximately 4:00 a.m. at the 24-hour Carrefour, which is a six-floor structure, three floors above ground and three floors below ground. The store was mostly empty at the time of the fire, with 10 employees and around 20 customers quickly fleeing as it filled with smoke.
Employees called 119 and 56 firefighters in 26 vehicles were dispatched to the scene. The firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the B1 level, but a large amount of merchandise was destroyed, per UDN.
Reports indicate that a 20-year-old was encouraged and pressured by two friends to spray a flammable pesticide through the flame of a lighter to create a “flame-thrower effect.” The man’s actions caused a shelf full of cleaning supplies to ignite, and the fire quickly spread.
All three suspects in their early 20s were arrested and charged with public endangerment. The Zhongli Carrefour expects to be closed for at least 48 hours following the incident so that the business can clean up the B1 level.
Several other businesses located in the building will also face closures. Total damages are still being calculated, according to reports.
Three men, aged 20, 20, and 24, were arrested and charged with public endangerment following the incident. (CNA photo)