Four dead, 13 injured in fire at Taoyuan nursing home

Taipei--Four people were killed and 13 others injured in a fire that swept through a nursing home in Taoyuan early Friday, the city's fire department said.

The fire broke out around 5 a.m. at the nursing home on Longyuan Road in the northern Taiwan city's Longtan District and quickly spread throughout the building, the fire department said.

Seventeen people, including a caregiver, were rescued from the burning building after some 100 firefighters and other first responders rushed to the scene, and the fire was extinguished within 30 minutes, the department said.

Four of the people pulled from the building were pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, while the other 13 were being treated for smoke inhalation and various degrees of burns, according to Hu Ying-ta (???), head of the Taoyuan Fire Department.

Some of the injured were in critical condition, according to the hospitals.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the fire but said the nursing home appeared to have violated fire codes multiple times in the past.

Fire department officials said they had carried out fire code inspections at the nursing home in northern Taiwan six times over the past year alone and had found that it did not meet several fire safety standards, but those irregularities were later corrected.

For example, during one inspection, it was found that the water capacity of the fire hydrant equipment was insufficient, officials said.

Ku Tzu-lung (???), head of the Taoyuan Department of Social Welfare, said multiple inspections conducted by his department in the past also found that the nursing home was housing more residents than permitted and was short of caregivers.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel