Four people died when a fire destroyed a two-story lodging facility in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Sunday morning.
According to police, the bodies, which have not yet been identified, were all male, Fuji TV reported. Three other men -- one man in his 80s, another in his 70s and third in his 30s -- were taken to hospital, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.
The fire started about 7 a.m. in the Okubo area of Shinjuku, near Higashi-Shinjuku subway station, police were quoted as saying. Forty fire engines were mobilized and finally extinguished the blaze about two hours later. Investigators said that the smell of gas in the air was strong, Fuji reported.
The 30-year-old apartment house, which is made of wood, has 26 apartments, 23 of which were occupied at the time of the fire, Fuji quoted police as saying. Many of the residents are senior citizens living on welfare.© Japan Today