HCM City's densely-populated lanes pose fire risks
  • |, Vietnamnet | June 11, 2024 07:05 AM
Many areas in HCM City have faced the high risk of fire as people share small living spaces in deep, narrow lanes.

With the increasing demand for rental housing in the city, owners of many houses deep in alleys have modified their property into multi-story buildings with rooms or sleep boxes of just 2.20 square metres for rent.

The balconies of many rooms are often completely barricaded. 

In addition, most of the houses do not have an extra emergency exit. When a fire occurs, it is very difficult for the fire services to access these types of houses.

A 300-metre lane in District 10 is only wide enough for a motorbike to get through.

A fire rescue toolbox on a lane on Ly Tu Trong Street is empty. There is no access to water sources for firefighting.

A densely-populated small lane in Binh Thanh District.

A resident said that there were just three fire extinguishers for the whole apartment block and she and many other elderly people did not know how to use them.

Nguyen Kieu Linh, 23, and seven other students live in a 15-square-metre room which is divided into eight sleep boxes in Nguyen Thien Thuat Street. Linh said that there are no fire rescue tools in their room at all.

"I sometimes also worry about fires when living in such sleep boxes but I can't afford another place," Linh, who comes from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, said. "I pay less than VND2 million a month for rent here and I only use it for sleeping at night.

Statistics from HCM City Police Department showed that 234 firee occurred during the first five months of this year, leaving 10 dead and injuring four others, and causing losses of over VND5 billion.

Following some recent fires, HCM City Police have just sent a team to check on fire prevention activities at local lodging houses and mini apartments for rent.

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