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Midnight fire at factory in northern Taiwan

Blaze at a Keelung facility storing petrochemical products

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A late-night factory blaze in Keelung. (CNA photo)

A late-night factory blaze in Keelung. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire broke out at a factory in Keelung around midnight on Sunday (Jan. 28), with firefighters rushing to contain the blaze within adjacent sheet metal buildings.

After arriving on the scene, firefighters were repelled by a flashover, a sudden ignition of flammable materials, which created a huge fireball. Fortunately, there no reported injuries or deaths associated with the factory, per UDN.

Firefighters were alerted to the fire by a call placed to the emergency “119 hotline.” A caller had reported seeing smoke arise from a factory located in Keelung City’s Anle District, Anhe First St., Lane 288.

The fire department initially dispatched three firefighting teams with a total of 26 fire engines and 51 firefighters and police to fight the blaze. Upon arriving, firefighters soon learned the factory and warehouse were owned by a company in the petrochemical industry, which used them to store equipment and materials.

Due to the highly combustible nature of the materials in the warehouse, firefighters chose to deploy a foam flame retardant as the primary means of fighting the blaze. At one point, the fire weakened the sheet metal structure and the roof of the factory eventually collapsed, making firefighting more challenging.

At the moment, the cause of the fire is continuing to be investigated.