11 die in fire at Sapporo facility for people on welfare


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A witness said he saw the facility engulfed in flames after hearing loud blast-like sounds more than 10 times.

Propane tanks and gas/kerosene heaters will that. My heart goes out the the families and friends of the victims!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yup. Say no to elderly and combustibles and/or open flame.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Horrible. Those poor people. We will all be old and alone, one day. We may even be homeless.

I wonder what the fire safety precautions there were like?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

RIP, very sad

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Other stories had more details, including that a good part of the residents were in their 50s. Since when is that elderly? Suggest real issue may be crappy support services to the poor - something that happens in many nations, including the US.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Other stories had more details, including that a good part of the residents were in their 50s. Since when is that elderly? Suggest real issue may be crappy support services to the poor - something that happens in many nations, including the US.

Yup, the minute you stop or it slows to a trickle contributing via taxes, as you tend do when you get old and no longer work or are sick, incapable, destitute or homeless. Very sad indeed and you wonder why you allowed them to suck so much out of you over a lifetime. Had you put that into a blue chip investment vehicle or property or even your own ability odds on it would be a much better picture towards the end!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very sad indeed! This was a privately run non-profit shelter that most likely received bugger all support from either the local or federal governments. Unfortunately, this would also mean the shelter was not managed correctly due to a lack funds. It's most likely there were no fire exits or extinguishers as well. I'm not blaming the facility. They were doing a great community service. However, I am blaming the governments for not supporting this group and establishing a 'fire safe' facility.

The explosions were most likely to be kerosine heaters. It takes a lot of heat for a propane tank to explode.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hopefully smoke got them fast, as it is a very quick death. RIP

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeez, as if they didn't have enough problems already...always the poor who get screwed some more

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The fact that there was somewhere to go is admirable, bars on Windows and kerosene heaters, containers. That's not so good. Building codes are archaic combined with a liquid highly flammable in a group setting. People make mistakes the death the horrible death of so many is upsetting. Why is kerosene still the heat source of choice?

3 ( +3 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

1.5 kilometers north of Sapporo railway station

Do they mean JR Sapporo Station?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Home for the aged and on welfare. An accident and tragedy that should never have happened. No fire sprinklers. The law must ensure that all establishments housing the aged, sick and disabled are required to have sprinklers.

Every care-home should have an operating license, and this decrepit three-story wooden home, should not have been one of them. They need staff 24/7 and the people living in care homes should never be left overnight with supervision, not only for reasons of fire but also health problems. No staffers were normally stationed at the facility overnight.

Even the poorest of the poor are citizens of this rich country and deserve better treatment than the tragic loss of their lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

RIP. Remember, kerosene heaters can be deadly, be very careful with them, they can explode, and always ventilate your room to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Many poor people use these heaters in Japan because they are the cheapest option, but they don't understand the risks of using them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I saw this on the news this AM, this very same facility was once a Ryokan, converted into a home for the elderly, It was also the subject of a news story three years ago, and it was not up to code back then, meaning this is criminal negligence here.

The owners were supposed to have installed a sprinkler system and failed to do so. It was a three story building, all wood, and quite old, the 3rd floor was used as storage.

8 men and 3 women died, and a passerby, who should be hailed as a hero, saved the lives of two people who were living there, braving the flames to enter the building to save one woman, and pulling another man to safety who had jumped from the second floor.

Other stories had more details, including that a good part of the residents were in their 50s.

Links, please, Japanese or English doesn't matter, the TV news said otherwise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This news is quite a shock and it is very sad to hear about this morning, I think that where you have some one that has dementia needs to be supervised, especially when it comes to a local cheap hostel like this one. I know its going to cost a little bit more, but the out come would have been different, because some one could have raised an alarm quickly.

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Nhk reported that the victims were 65 or older except for one wbo was 48.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Everyone wants to scream foul after the fact when this is an annual occurance in these facilities. It behoves GOJ to conduct more stringent inspections prior to winter season setting in. Safety - Safety - Safety ALWAYS we’re elderly are concerned.

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This evening a reporter outside pointed out some of the known facts. Kerosene containers were kept centrally in the main hall at the foot of the stairs where residents could come and fill their individual stove tanks. The fire was heaviest around there, suggesting the stairs were engulfed in flames. There was one fire exit upstairs at the back, but no external stairs outside from it. All the windows on the ground floor had heavy wooden bars/grilles screwed in place. In other words, there was no easy escape for anyone inside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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