HCMC experiences surge of fires in dry season

The Southern region of Vietnam is entering its rainy season, yet many areas in HCMC still have a worryingly high risk of fires.

The FPFF teams are participating in the contest for Best FPFF of the City 2024.

Since February, HCMC has witnessed a series of fires breaking out in dry grasslands and scrap metal storage areas.

In the afternoon of May 6, a sudden and fierce fire engulfed a vast grassland spanning thousands of square meters along Bung Ong Thoan Street inside Saigon Hi-tech Park (Phu Huu Ward of Thu Duc City). The flames spread rapidly due to the abundance of dry grass and reeds in the area. Strong winds carried the smoke and ash from the blaze towards residential areas in Linh Tay, Linh Trung, and Linh Xuan wards (Thu Duc City). The smoke even reached nearby houses in Binh Duong province.

On May 6-7, three consecutive fires happened in Hoc Mon District, seriously damaging the properties of home-owners and business owners there.

Apart from the dangers posed by scrap metal collection facilities and mixed residential-commercial properties, parking lots for confiscated vehicles also present significant fire risks during the hot season, especially after peak patrol and control periods. The huge quantity of confiscated vehicles creates tough challenges in terms of storage, environmental protection, and fire prevention.

Therefore, since the beginning of this year, the police forces of all districts and Thu Duc City have been reminded to better handle seized property and vehicles in violation of administrative regulations while cooperating with the Logistics Division to upgrade fire prevention and firefighting (FPFF) systems at warehouses and parking lots for these confiscated property and vehicles.

HCMC now has nearly 5,000 FPFF teams, aiming at provide basic knowledge and training necessary skills for the public regarding firefighting. In cases that a fire breaks out in small alleys and the professional firefighting force cannot reach the scene in time, these teams will play a vital role in firefighting at the scene to minimize property and human losses.

Vo Thi Xuan Em from Phu Xuan Commune of Nha Be District recalled a fire happening at her house three months ago. At around 5:00 a.m. on March 15, the altar on the front balcony of her bedroom experienced an electrical short circuit, and the flames quickly engulfed the room. Seeing the fire, she immediately alerted her family members, then quickly pressed the alarm bell of the local FPFF team in front of her house. The swift reaction of her neighbors with professional equipment thanks to the sound of this bell was able to help extinguish that fire.

Colonel Huynh Quang Tam, Head of the Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Police Division (under the HCMC Department of Public Security), shared that the prime time of firefighting is the first five minutes of the outbreak. Hence, on-site firefighting forces are of extreme importance in the task. The FPFF team model is vital to increase the effectiveness of FPFF tasks in residential areas.

Underscoring the significance of the "4 on-the-spot" principle in fire prevention and rescue operations, Ngo Minh Chau, Head of the Internal Affairs Department of the HCMC Party Committee, emphasized the crucial role of proactive measures to prevent fires, explosions, accidents, and emergencies. The whole society should be mobilized to join in FPFF tasks, and more FPFF teams should be established among residential areas as well as commercial or manufacturing facilities.

In related news, at about 11:30 p.m. on June 9, residents in District 10 alerted authorities to a fire erupting from a multi-story building on Bac Hai Street in Ward 15.

Responding swiftly to the emergency, the Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Police Division (PC07) under the HCMC Public Security Department mobilized fire crews from Districts 10 and 11, along with the Area 1 Fire Fighting Team under PC07.

A total of 12 specialized fire trucks and nearly 70 firefighters arrived at the scene. The firefighters quickly saved five victims (4 adults and 1 child of 3 months old).

PC07 informed that the affected house had four floors and an emergency escape. The house owner had received proper training as to FPFF.

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