Warehouse in Saitama still ablaze after 5 days


A massive warehouse fire that broke out in the town of Miyoshi, Saitama Prefecture, on Feb 16, raged on for a fifth day Monday.

Plumes of smoke were first seen rising from the Askul distribution center last Thursday at 9 a.m. About 400 employees were on the premises at the time but none were hurt.

So far, 45,000 square meters of warehouse space have been destroyed by the fire, Fuji TV reported. On Sunday morning, two big blasts were heard coming from the office supply vendor’s warehouse, which firefighters believe were spray cans exploding.

Residents of neighboring houses were asked to evacuate their homes as a precaution. Over the weekend, Askul officials were also seen visiting houses and apologizing in areas where residents were asked to evacuate.

On Monday morning, firefighters were still battling to extinguish the blaze and said the entire structure was in danger of collapsing.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

© Japan Today

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5 days...? Were they storing trick candles on the site?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

5 days, wow that is some fire to last that long, there must have been some intense heat to keep it going. at least every one is safe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I understand we don't have all the facts yet but I really hope this wasn't another case of the fire service not sending enough trucks to sort out the blaze like in Niigata last month..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think they said the warehouse has very windows so it's difficult to get water on the flames. Regarding the burning intensity, Askul is an office supplier and sells practically anything you can imagine of office and business equipment. The warehouse probably has tons of paper and flammable chemicals.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is oustanding on many levels. Five days and no one has quenched the fire. Five days and it is still burning. Five days on fire and the building is still in a presentable state. At least one of these is wrong.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

My wife ordered something for our business, but the order was canceled because of this fire.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most warehouse fires should not last this long. Did they not have adequate fire sprinklers on the premises?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Clearly they are going to need to make changes in WHAT & how MUCH of things are stored at any place at the same time, somebody has messed up for sure

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I understand this is a huge, modern facility whose lack of windows prevented sun damage to the stored products but is also making it hard to get water on the fire from outside. And that they can't take equipment in because of the danger of building collapse. What I haven't heard mentioned in the news reports was what kind of sprinkler system etc was in place. It seems if a design with no/very few small windows is allowed there should be a system inside able to knock out fires before they get big. Interested in what the relevant regulations are in this case and whether they need revision.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A modern facility of this type should have a wet pipe fire sprinkler system in working order. Even in Japan. I am suspicious that there is a sprinkler system in here and that it was disabled for some reason (to make repairs?) and then forgotten about. Someone has a lot of questions to answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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