4 dead, 100 injured in apartment building fire in Uijeongbu

January 11, 2015
Four people were killed and 100 others were injured in a fire that swept through a 10-story apartment building in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Four people were killed and 100 others were injured in a fire that swept through a 10-story apartment building in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Four people were killed and 100 others injured in a fire that swept through a 10-story apartment building in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, on Saturday, police and firefighters said.

Nearly 80 percent of those injured were in their 20s and 30s, and death toll may likely rise as about 10 people injured were in critical condition, they added.

“The fire is believed to have taken place at 9:27 a.m. near the post box on the first floor of the apartment building,” chief firefighter Kim Seok-son told a briefing for reporters.

The blaze then appeared to have spread to cars parked on the ground floor before moving fast to the upper floors of the building, which prevented people inside from evacuating through the front entrance, he said.

“An investigation is under way to determine the exact cause of the fire,” Kim said, adding that officials were looking into the possibility of an arson attack.

According to firefighters, the blaze quickly spread to three other adjoining buildings but was brought under control about two hours later.

Authorities set up a shelter at a nearby elementary school for nearly 200 people evacuated from three damaged buildings.

The 10-story Daebong Green Apartment complex consists of small single-room studios, each about 17 square meters and it mostly accommodates young people living alone as well as some couples.

Approximately 20 vehicles in the parking lot of the apartment were also destroyed by the fire.

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