Sat, Oct 02, 2010
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Fire at S.Korea high-rise apartment under control

A BLAZE at an apartment building was brought under control after reaching the rooftop of the 38-story complex in a fire Friday authorities say seems to have started at a garbage collection room, Yonhap News reported. No casualties were reported.

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than two and a half hours as it spread through the stairways after being first spotted at around 11.30 am (12.30pm Singapore Time).

Authorities said there does not appear to be any casualties as most residents were evacuated soon after the first signs of a fire.

One or two were being treated at hospitals for smoke inhalation, they said.

Investigators suspect the fire started at the garbage room on the fourth floor, also used for recycling. Highly flammable wall material and strong winds apparently fueled the fire, they said.

"Just moments after we saw smoke coming from the fourth floor, we saw the fire at the rooftop," one witness said.

The apartment building, including four underground floors, opened in May 2006 to 200 households and some offices near Haeundae Beach, a newly-emerging area for luxurious apartments in this coastal city.

Meanwhile, real-time posts about the fire spread fast on Twitter, a social network service, featuring photographs with an angle that is not available from mainstream media.

The speed at which Tweets about the big fire in Busan are uploaded is much faster than that of other established newspaper, underscoring the power of the social network service as an alternative breaking news channel.

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