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11-year-old boy perishes in house fire

23 Comments

An 11-year-old boy died in a fire at a municipal housing complex in Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the fire started on the 2nd floor of the house at about 1:30 p.m., NTV reported. The fire was extinguished about an hour later, at which point the boy's body was found.

The boy has been identified as Akihito Oshima. NTV quoted police as saying that seven family members lived in the house, and that Akihito was home alone when the fire started.

Firefighters said Monday they have not determined how the fire started, NTV reported.

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23 Comments
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Another unsupervised death of a kid. RIP

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Alone? Hmm.. and it took them an hour to extinguish the fire? Wait, I forgot! My husband told me that normally firefighters do NOT enter the houses on fire to see if there if there is someone inside still because of the high risk of the house falling over them. But I wonder, why do they become firefighters then? To protect other people's house and business? I thought firefighter were brave people that would rescue someone in need. I guess I'm watching too many foreign movies.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

it's true that japanese leave their kids alone? even in cars while they buy things in the stores..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@BlueWitch Well, your husband is wrong obviously

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Its called being a latch key kid. At 11 I was home alone sometimes. Not every child has the pleasure of having a homemaker parent. Sometimes both parents have to work. I feel terrible that the child died, but i cant blame the parents in this case. Also, how old was the building? There are still a lot of building in Japan that are not adequately designed for fire safety. My work place right now has no fire sprinklers. And my previous apartment just got smoke and gas detectors last year.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Horrible death!! RIP little boy

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He must have been asleep, RIP mate

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Hide Suzuki

It's hard to tell really, I've been told of serious accidents where a burning roof collapsed (something to do with the typical structure of a local home and the way its built?) on the firefighters and killed them which is why they refrain from entering the burning house at all costs. Usual practice or not, I don't have hard evidence, of course. Just "rumor". Have you heard otherwise?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If a parent cannot be home, due to work commitments, then they hire a babysitter or childminder, it is just what you do. You do not ever ever leave the child at home alone. What is wrong with some people here that they dont step up and be responsible adults. A nation of selfish people with no common sense.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I am so sorry to hear this news. Some of the older houses look like the would be engulfed in flames if you even look at them the wrong way. Now that many people are starting to use their gas heaters, we must remember to be extra careful.

However, those of you asking where the parents are...I don't see why. 11 years old left at night seems fine to me. For 99.9 percent of the time, nothing would happen in the midnight hours that would require a parent to be around. In this care, a fire alarm would have been just as good as a parent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

11 years old and home alone at 1.30 on a Sunday afternoon doesnt seem that unreasonable to me. RIP little guy. Your life could maybe have been saved with a simple 2000 yen alarm.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Obviously it was unreasonable as the poor lad perished.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I thought firefighter were brave people that would rescue someone in need.

I think they are. 253 volunteer firefighters died at 3.11 earthquake/tsunami. Those dead firefighters, at least 72 were in charge of closing floodgates or seawall gates in coastal areas. There are about 1,450 floodgates in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. Only 70+ can be remotely operated and some of them didn't work because the power was out. Other firefighters were swept away while guiding the evacuation of residents or while in transit after finishing gate-closing operations. Another died while striking the alarm bell of a fire tower to warn residents to evacuate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm with you Nicky - 11 is fine as long as you've raised the child well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

11 yo and home alone? Nothing wrong with that... I was baby sitting other kids at 12 yo when I was young. Problem is probably more to do with ignored fire hazards and the absence of proper alarm. Poor little guy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry, misread it thinking it was at night. 1 in the afternoon and an 11 year old boy is completely fine in my opinion. This is about the age that I would want to start giving kids a bit of freedom. I am sure that he was told what to do for the day and who to contact if there was an emergency. However, if he was a trouble maker, then it would be good to have someone around. I wonder how the fire started...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Obviously it was unreasonable as the poor lad perished.

But how do you know that would not have happened had an adult even been there? 11 year olds should - if you have raised them properly - know enough about fire to get themselves out of there. Even my 7 year old knows if there is ever a fire to just get out, no questions, dont even try to fight it.

Kenchi - I was babysitting at 12 too, and I agree, this almost certainly has less to do with the boy himself, and more to do with the lack of safety measures, especially in older buildings. They are a death trap with these old fashioned kerosene heaters and things.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I babysat at 12 too. Seems in some countries - Canada I think I read - it is now illegal the leave your kid alone until they are 12 which I think is pathetic! I was left alone as my mom had to go to work early in the morning and my sister and I were fine - got breakfast, got to the bus stop, got to school... If parents teacher their kids responsibility from any early age, no problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BlueWitch : Two weeks ago today, the house next to me burned halfway down in a huge fire. I was woken up at 5:30 am by deafening sirens and peered out the window to see smoke billowing out of the second floor of the house no more than 10 meters from my window. There must have been at least 30 firemen in the parking lot and on the rickety old staircase. At first, they kept shouting "Is there anyone in there?!" I don't think there was an answer, but eventually they forced the door and then the interior door open, at which the house erupted in a huge fireball. It as then, right from the flames, that they brought out the occupant. Although he was obviously dead already, and there were huge flames coming out, they still went back in to search.

I just wanted to assure you, that in my own experience, firemen in Japan do go into burning (and obviously dangerous) houses in Japan. Those men were heroes. Without them, our apartment would have surely caught fire too, and with the absence of sirens, who knows what might have happened?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seems in some countries - Canada I think I read - it is now illegal the leave your kid alone until they are 12

-yes, I think someone said that when a kid went over a balcony a few weeks ago. 12 is also the legal age in the UK and Hong Kong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i feel bad for poor Akihito R.I.P

and seriously people its not a crime to leave a child home alone, at 11 years old i was left home by myself lots of times and that was only after my Mom taught me how to behave and what not to do when she wasn't there. as long as a child knows what not to do when a grown up is not there they should be OK

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Jamie in Japan

@BlueWitch : Two weeks ago today, the house next to me burned halfway down in a huge fire. I was woken up at 5:30 am by deafening sirens and peered out the window to see smoke billowing out of the second floor of the house no more than 10 meters from my window. There must have been at least 30 firemen in the parking lot and on the rickety old staircase. At first, they kept shouting "Is there anyone in there?!" I don't think there was an answer, but eventually they forced the door and then the interior door open, at which the house erupted in a huge fireball. It as then, right from the flames, that they brought out the occupant. Although he was obviously dead already, and there were huge flames coming out, they still went back in to search.

I just wanted to assure you, that in my own experience, firemen in Japan do go into burning (and obviously dangerous) houses in Japan. Those men were heroes. Without them, our apartment would have surely caught fire too, and with the absence of sirens, who knows what might have happened?

Oh then I'm very relieved. I thought otherwise thanks to rumors. As it turns out, they were certainly incorrect. Well, now I know.. just in case. Thank you for sharing your experience with me, my friend.

@Nicky

They are a death trap with these old fashioned kerosene heaters and things.

We have zero kerosene heaters at home. By our own rule, we just don't use them. If its cold, only the AC/Heater is allowed. We don't even have kotatsu. lol I'm extremely paranoid with surprise-fires and all that. The only electric warming thing I use is a warming blanket that's placed under another blanket over the futton mattress. Even with that, I use it on the lowest grade and turn it off as quickly as I wake up. Husband told me those blankets sort of "spew" some magnetic radiation? So I'm rethinking its use. (-_-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BlueWitch

Husband told me those blankets sort of "spew" some magnetic radiation?

Everything electric "spews" electromagnetic radiation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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