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Fire causes damage near another World Heritage site in Japan

17 Comments

A fire damaged at least one building at a World Heritage site in Japan on Monday, a fire department official said, just days after a blaze destroyed much of another Japanese World Heritage site, on its southern island of Okinawa.

Monday's fire broke out at a site featuring traditional gassho-zukuri houses in in Shirakawa-go, Gifu Prefecture, a fire department official said. The houses were built hundreds of years ago and are known for their thatched roofs.

The official said the fire was out and the damage was very limited.

The cause was not known and the official declined to say how many buildings were damaged.

Videos posted to social media showed firefighters hosing down one of the gassho-zukuri houses, which was engulfed in flames.

Last week, a fire destroyed much of Shuri Castle, a World Heritage site on Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

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17 Comments
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Fire has been the bane here in Japan for like since forever, one would think that in today's world they would have sprinkler systems installed!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Fire has been the bane here in Japan for like since forever, one would think that in today's world they would have sprinkler systems installed!

I'd agree. Shuri Castle was only rebuilt in the early 1990s. You would have thought that as fire is a major issue with temples, that trying to incorporate a sprinkler system would have been high on the 'to do' list.
4 ( +5 / -1 )

The risk of a fire at one of these sights is to be expected. Even more so at temples.

But two fires at two World Heritage sites in the space of a week seems a bit suspicious to me. It reminds me of a few years ago when someone was targeting temples...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

agree with Yubaru and Gadget.

This new bit of news hit me especially hard as shirakawa go was on my list of places to visit in the future..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is all sounding to start suspicious.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Fire has been the bane here in Japan for like since forever, one would think that in today's world they would have sprinkler systems installed!

This! Last time I visited Kiyomizudera in Kyoto I don't remember seeing any sprinkler systems, then again I didn't pay attention to it. They DID have 4 buckets of water outside.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"This is all sounding to start suspicious."

Agreed

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"they would have sprinkler systems installed!"

Blame the victim!!!!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Blame the victim!!!!

Hardly. I'd argue that fire is more of an issue in temples now that it was years ago. Although firefighting techniques have improved exponentially, it only takes minutes for a tinder dry temple to become a complete loss as illustrated at Shuri. Far faster than any emergency services could reach the site, assess and start work.

If a temple has just been reconstructed with traditional materials, using traditional techniques at great expense, but has electricity installed . . . . .. why wouldn't you install sprinklers or some kind of fire suppression?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“...... Shirakawa go was on my list of places to visit in the future..”

The Shirakawa World Heritage site comprises scattered buildings. If more than of them caught fire, it’s highly likely that it was no accident.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb0Jmy-JYbA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree. Starting to look suspicious.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Straw house and cold weather kerosene heaters.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In Shirakawa there's a sprinkler system to wet the thatched houses which was used when the hut fires broke out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

once is a tragedy, twice would be carelessness, three times would be a pattern

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aly Rustom:

This new bit of news hit me especially hard as shirakawa go was on my list of places to visit in the future..

The article seems to be saying that the fire was just to one or a few houses. If that's so, then Shirakawa-go will still be well worth visiting. It's quite an extensive site.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fire damage was in two small huts and not houses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Knowing Japan, I'm sure they're going to ban fire from burning things instead of making stricter fire regulation codes for buildings which requires a sprinkler or better wiring codes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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