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Alarms ring on Fire Control Day
12/11/2004 9:57

There were 239 fires reported in high-rises in the city so far this year, an increase of 50.3 percent from the same period last year, the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau announced yesterday.
So far this year, 19 people, including 17 who were elderly or minors, have been killed by fires in Shanghai, the bureau said.
Officials say the city needs to do much more to improve its fire control situation.
An unusually large number of fire alarms sounded in the city yesterday, which was the 14th national Fire Control Day. While most of the alarms were part of fire drills, a couple of them were for real emergencies.  
Officials believe a blaze at the Shanghai Chemical Reagent Plant early yesterday morning was caused by a thief.
"He might have discarded a cigar butt onto a pile of plastic bags and thus triggered off the fire," a plant official said.
She said no one was injured and the blaze was extinguished soon after firemen reached the factory located on Daduhe Road in Putuo District.
At around 1:15pm, another fire broke out on a construction site on Hanyang Road in Hongkou District.
The cause of the blaze is still unknown, but firemen from the Hongkou Fire Control Brigade confirmed that there was no casualties.
Local firemen in Xuhui District held a fire control drill in a large furnishing store on Longwu Road yesterday. The drill started with a fire in the B&Q Furnishing Market at around 9am. Dozens of firemen from the Meilong Fire Control Brigade soon arrived at the store.
Several fire engines were also dispatched to the scene, and the fire was brought under control in a few minutes.
Another drill was held at Three On The Bund, a comprehensive seven-floor business complex on Zhongshan Road E1, yesterday afternoon.
The drill started at 2:30pm when smoke bombs were set off on a sightseeing platform to simulate a fire in the top-floor restaurant.
Most staff and customers rushed to the fire escapes to leave while fire fighters erected an automatic aerial ladder to rescue four people who were stuck on a balcony. The drill took about 20 minutes to finish.