Firefighters inspect a house in Tochigi Prefecture gutted by a fire on Wednesday morning. Photo: KYODO

3 perish in Tochigi house fire


Three members of a family died in a residential fire in Ichikai, Tochigi Prefecture, on Wednesday morning.

According to police and firefighters, flames were seen coming from the two-story house by a neighbor at around 4 a.m., Fuji TV reported. It took firefighters about one hour to extinguish the blaze. A small residence adjacent to the house was also destroyed.

The bodies of two men were found in the house. An unconscious woman was found in the smaller residence and taken to hospital where she died later. Police said the three people were Zen Kobayashi, 82, who owned the house, his son, 57, the son’s 31-year-old daughter.

The household had five residents. Kobayashi's wife managed to escape the house unharmed, while his granddaughter7s husband was out at the time.

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

I change my smoke detector batteries every new year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tragic. may they rest in peace

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's got to be a fighting chance that a ¥1,000 smoke detector would have saved three lives here. Where are the public information ads?

1 ( +1 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is tragic, such as other deaths - hopefully they were all unconscious at the time and knew nothing about it.

If you have a Smoke detector, just press the button upon it every so often . One of mine went off recently due to the steam from my shower room... and I've not changed it's battery in 7 years. Clearly the more they go off... the sooner you should review replacing their batteries.

Fire/Smoke detectors should be compulsory in all homes and the insurance company you're with should ideally be handing them out free - as it's in their own interest to do so - especially to reduce collateral damage litigation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very tragic.

it beggars belief that smoke alarms aren't ubiquitous in Japanese homes given how so many of them are made of wood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Loss of innocent life is always sad. R.I.P.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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