Two men trapped in Taipei blaze

The China Post staff

Two Taipei men cheated death yesterday during an early morning blaze that engulfed a 35-story tall office building belonging to the cash-strapped Tuntex Group. According officials at local fire department, they first received the call for help shortly after five o’clock Saturday morning. As some 300 fire fighters arrived on the scene on 50 fire trucks minutes later, they found thick smoke and raging flames shooting out of the 10th floor of the tall office building. Luckily, since most workers had long gone home for the weekend at the time of the incident, only two men were found trapped inside the building when the fire broke out. Upon a quick survey of the scene, firemen were told by the building’s security guards that the two people trapped were located on the highrise’s 25th floor and the second floor below the ground level respectively. After breaking through thick iron doors designed to keep out fire and thick smoke, fire fighters successfully rescued the man trapped on the lower level of the building.

Yet due to the intense rising black smoke from the fire-engulfed floor, rescuers had trouble at first making their way to the 25th floor to save the other trapped man. Fortunately, since the man himself was able to telephone for help via his cellphone, he was instructed by fire fighters to smash a window for fresh air before the blackened lethal smoke had the opportunity to overpower him. And due to the various obstacles found inside the building, it actually took firemen more than two hours to reach the man as he was seen sticking his upper body outside of the broken window, fighting to hide from the thick black smoke.

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the man was finally pulled to safety by rescuers before he was rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Meanwhile, after battling the blaze for nearly four hours, fire fighters finally gained an upper hand over the raging blaze before putting it out at around 800 a.m. Even though authorities are still working to determine the actual cause of the fire, they believed that the building’s questionable fire prevention system was partly to blame for Saturday’s predawn blaze. According to investigators in charge of the case, the highrise office building was actually cited for several violations of the fire safety code during an inspection by officials from the city’s fire department last month.