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2-year-old girl dies in Kawasaki apartment fire

50 Comments

A two-year-old girl died in an apartment fire in Kawasaki on Tuesday morning. Police said the fire was most likely an accident. The fire occurred at about 8 a.m. in the apartment on the third flood of a condominium.

A family of six lived in the apartment, police said. The dead girl was identified as Haruka Uemura. The girl's father Takayuki, 22, and his second son, 4, suffered from smoke inhalation and are in a serious condition in hospital, police said Wednesday morning.

According to police, Uemura's wife had taken their oldest son, 6, to school. Uemura's mother, who lived with the family, was out at the time.

© News reports

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What can you really say anymore.....? Its a trend with the new generation and I only expect fire and killed kids from now on.

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When will the Japanese make child-neglect an offense instead of culture? Leaving a 4y/o and a 2y/o alone is neglect, plain and simple! I see no mention of charges for the parents either.

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What is wrong with this picture? Some Japanese persons should not leave toddlers alone for any reasons. Do some people not have common sense?

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Some people are truly disgusting.

Leaving a 2 year old and a 4 year old home alone?

Sick people. Whichever of them left last is responsible for this death, and any damage caused to the 4 year old. Why is it in this day and age that some people still think it's acceptable to leave kids unattended?

Poor little girl.

And if anyone thinks the smoke alarms currently being installed by landlords will protect them they can think again. They seem to be designed for households where lots of people smoke, so they simply don't go off at times when a real smoke alarm would. Okay for in the kitchen, but not for in bedrooms where you need the extra time provided by a sensitive smoke alarm. Yet another case of smokers' rights being put above lives. (I'm not suggesting a link between smoking and this fire though, just pointing out how useless the alarms are.) A real smoke alarm might have alerted these kids and their neighbours sufficiently to get the kids out in time.

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Not really shocking that a 2 year old and a 4 year old were left home alone...in Japan. When will people learn?

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What ever happened to common sense?

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Believe me....there is NO common sense here in Japan. No one thinks what If...I see it everyday here...kids left alone in parks, cars (Idling too), taking buses alone to meet up the other parent and another bus stop....I think they think they did it once and nothing bad happened so its ok. But police dont inforce any type of law here..

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Here Here Gurukun - Its not as common as they make it out to be.

Poor kid.... I really wish the government would take a stand on this and make the parent responsible for cases like this. You leave a child at home alone and the child dies, its second degree murder in my opinion.

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Hmmmm. I think posters here should read a bit more closely.

They didn't leave the kid alone at all.

They left her grandmother to look after her, but she went out of the house. It's her fault.

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Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Had the mother not taken the 6 year old to school, and something happened on the way, she would get blamed for that too. Just how do you juggle a 2 year old, a 4 year old and a 6 year old on probably his first day of school? It seems granny was unrealiable. And sadly, Japan has no culture of getting to know the neighbors well enough to get them to do a little babysitting.

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2020hindsight said,

Hmmmm. I think posters here should read a bit more closely. They didn't leave the kid alone at all. They left her grandmother to look after her, but she went out of the house. It's her fault.

Maybe if the reporter was a lot more detail as to the grandmother was watching the kids instead of leaving it to interpretation as what happened. One can interpret that the article was saying the children were left alone without supervision unless the article states otherwise.

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grandma was supposed to watch the 2-year-old and 4-year-old.. where did she go to??? the mom taking the 6-year-old while grandma watching the other 2 kids sounds totally fine to me, the question is.. where was grandma when the incident happened???? need more details.

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Brainiac at 10:06 AM JST - 7th April

Why are some of you assuming that the grandmother was supposed to watch the children? I'd say that wasn't the case.

Read between the lines:

Uemura’s mother had left the apartment.

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What does it matter who left the kids alone in this circumstance, just how old they are or what generation? This type of behavior is common in Japan across ALL generations/ages/socioeconomic status. Every week there is/are another story(ies) about young children being left unsupervised or alone in any one of a number of settings, and getting seriously injured or killed.

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According to Japanese news, the father and the 4-year-old are in critical condition, the 2-year-old died. The mother and grandma, the 6-year-old were not home.

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ok, here's the fact. Early that morning, the father came home after working night shift. The grandma went out earlier to help out her friends move. The mother took the 6-year-old to meet other kids to walk to school (you know how J-kids walk to school together, so the mother just took the boy to the meeting place near the apartment). The 2-year-old and 4-year-old were sleeping in the room with the father. Both the father and the 4-year-old boy are still in cardiac or respiratory arrest. The 2-year-old girl had already died.

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Thanks fishy for the update. What caused the fire?

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@brainiac so you ask why we assume that grandma was suppose to watch the children. well obviously the she expected her to home. this happened around 8am in the morning where the hell would grandma be at 8am in the morning

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I'm guessing JT readers have seriously poor reading skills. Girl killed in fire=neglet? Really.

fishy, thank you (x2) for the details.

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TSRnow and skip - your welcome :)

Asukawind- Grandma was out helping out her friends move. But the father was home with the kids.

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next year, they would been 7-5-3

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where the hell would grandma be at 8am in the morning

Given the age of the father (22 and 3 kids already?!), it's quite likely that "Grandma" is only in her 40s and had to go to work or be elsewhere by 8am. Just because someone is a grandmother does not mean she is a little old lady with a cane who sits in a rocking chair all day.

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22-year-old father, who already has a 6-year-old son?? Very unusual. And a second child fatality accident in such very young and big family in a few days only. What kind of parents are they??

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ryunomama- what kind of parents are they??

well, they are young, yes, but the 2 kids sleeping at home in the same room with the dad, mother taking the oldest boy to school, grandpa leaving home early to help out her friends.. i don't see anything wrong about it.

so unless we know the cause of the fire, it is wrong to blame on these young parents. people started blaming the mother and grandma, but the fact is, they did nothing unusual, so let's wait and see what caused the fire.

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Mother leaves with son. 2 little kids home sleeping with Grandmother. Father comes home from nightshift, grandmother leaves, father goes to sleep, with 2 already sleeping little kids. It seems like everyone tried to make due with whom would be in the house and when. But what caused the fire? Terrible thing for this family to bear. Like that family that just lost a drowned older brother. I pray for them all, that they recover and get strength to carry on...

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I thought I read the father was at work before. I might be wrong, but no way to check. No records of what changed. Who knows what the hell.

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According to Yahoo.co.jp news, father's mother is 66 years old.

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R.I.P. Little one. sigh

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Did any of you bother to read the article. The tot in question was not alone.

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fishy, thank you (x2) for the details.

Maybe and coming here late, and no offense to fishy, but everything fishy mentioned (except the reason for grandma leaving) is stated in the article above. It is clear from the article that the dad was home with two kids, most likely all sleeping. I see absolutely no problem with grandma heading out with dad home asleep with the kids. (unless grandma set the place on fire before she left.)

Otherwise this is just another tragic accident. Maybe this dude had a smoke before heading off to sleep, but it's not like that would be a first.

Who knows what caused the fire. Maybe mom left something on the stove, or whatever. Three kids, two three adults, all with different schedules, can get pretty hard to keep everything in order.

Hope they recover.

OH, and JT, hows about saying "the deceased" instead of "the dead girl" that would make this site sound less like a gossip rag.

The only odd thing is that the dude is pretty young to have a

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chotto said,

Did any of you bother to read the article. The tot in question was not alone.

When people read the wrong information posted the comments are going to respond accordingly to what was read first. The comments made after will be according to new information as the news develop. That's the internet for you.

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Two kids sleeeping at 8:30 in the morning?? I do not want to blame the father, before any new information would be given out, but it seems to me like he was tired after night shift, sleeping, the kids woke up and started the fire somehow. I would never sleep while kids could be awake. They could do anything...

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bamboohat -

Maybe and coming here late, and no offense to fishy, but everything fishy mentioned (except the reason for grandma leaving) is stated in the article above

yes, you came a little late. the article has been updated. the original article said that the father was at work, and the 4-year-old was not hurt. the grandma was home with the kids. totally different.

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What is wrong with Japan parents?! How can you leave such young children alone at home!? >_< So sad!

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Most of these comments are pathetic... sitting on your high horses trying to find someone to blame from your computer.

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sitting on your high horses trying to find someone to blame from your computer.

You think the posters are bad, wait till this dude recovers (hopefully), and feels the wrath from the mother of the little girl he "let die."

the future ain't bright for this poor family. So sad.

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So sad. What's up with all the fires lately? I hope that they investigate how these fires started so at least they can educate the public on how to prevent them from happening. Children should not die this way...

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What is wrong with Japan parents?! How can you leave such young children alone at home!? >_< So sad!

Did you even bother reading the article? "The girl’s father Takayuki, 22, and his second son, 4, suffered from smoke inhalation and are in a serious condition in hospital..." If the father had been away from the house, then how would he and his second son suffer from smoke inhalation?

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Dolphingirl, do you know about the new law concerning smoke detectors? Every single house has to have them installed from April 1st, 2010. That's one way to prevent something like this happening.

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All residences in Japan will be required by law to have smoke detectors or similar residential fire alarms. The rule goes into effect on April 1 for most of Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture; some localities are earlier or later.

For brief information in English on what sort of alarms meet the requirement, and where to place them, go to

www.tfd.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/inf/ firealarm.html.

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another example of stupid parenting.

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blackpassenger. can you elaborate on your observation.

how does having a child die in an accident equate with stupid parenting? whenever a kid dies in an accident, is it because of stupid parents?

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another example of stupid parenting

Er...in what way?

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The girl’s father Takayuki, 22, and his second son, 4, suffered from smoke inhalation and are in a serious condition in hospital, police said Wednesday morning.

Seriously, how many responses can I count that said something stupid along the lines of "how can you leave your child home alone?". Unless this article was updated with new info, I find it rather strange that the father would have suffered from smoke inhalation SOMEWHERE ELSE while the children are suffering home alone...

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The children were not left alone. The father and son suffered heavy smoke inhalation. The daughter died. NO CAUSE for the fire has been given.

Basic facts that should make a sane person realize there is not enough information to be assigning blame or criticizing the father's decisions right now. But that's never stopped posters here before so why should this time be any different?

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just saw the updated news.. the father passed away early this morning.. RIP.

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Oh, no.... so sad for the whole family. RIP. I hope the son survives.

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I heard about another fatal fire accident in an apartment in Kawasaki, where 3-year-old boy twins died. The cause of the fire was a lighter. AGAIN? Even same city, just two days later. What is going on?

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This is tragic :-(

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completely heart broken...RIP dad and baby girl and fast recovery for both boy and mother..

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