Volunteers fight fire in wake of karaoke disaster
After a fire in a karaoke bar in Hanoi's Cau Giay district killed 13 people last November, local officials knew they had to do something to prevent such nightmarish scenes.
Volunteer fire fighters prepare to tour around Cau Giay District to remind local residents of fire prevention steps.
Dich Vong Hau Ward’s People’s Committee decided to set up a team of cyclists to travel through the area spreading information on fire prevention, so that the tragic incident on Tran Thai Tong Street wouldn’t be repeated.
Now, between 6.30am and 7pm every day, a group of young people ride bicycles around the district to remind locals of the importance of fire prevention.
With bicycles equipped with loudspeakers, they broadcast essential information on fire prevention to residents in every corner of the district.
They are also equipped with fire extinguishers to be ready to fight fires around the clock.
Since its establishment last December, the team has helped local firefighting police raise public awareness of fire prevention and control.
According to Chairman of Dich Vong Hau Ward People’s Committee Nguyen Quang Thang, the deadly karaoke bar fire taught a painful lesson about the consequences of fire to authorities and local residents.
The volunteer firefighting team was established to strengthen local capacity in fire protection, he said.
Phan Thu Ha, chief administrator of Cau Giay District’s People’s Committee, told Economy and Urban Affairs newspaper that everyday members of the team rode bicycles with loudspeakers to remind people to turn off electronic devices and close the valve of gas canisters for safety.
Their works has helped minimise the risk of fire, she said.
During Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, a fire occurred at a house in Nghia Do District at about 7pm when its owner was away from home. After being informed of the fire, the team went to the house and forced open the door to get into the house and extinguish the fire.
A recent fire at a shop selling blankets and pillow on Xuan Thuy street was put out in quickly by the team. A representative from the Hanoi Fire Prevention and Fighting Police said if the team had arrived five minutes later, the fire would have been catastrophic.
Head of the team, Dao Duy Vuong, told An ninh TV (Public Security Television) that they had received a positive response from locals.
People were glad to be reminded of fire prevention tasks every day, he said.
Nguyen Thi Xuan Hong from Dich Vong Hau Ward said this way of spreading information was very effective.
“It’s like an alarm. Whatever we are doing, we will stop and check fire safety when hearing the reminder from their loudspeaker,” she said.
“Prevention is better than cure. I think it is really good to regularly remind residents of fire prevention,” she added.
According to the Hanoi Fire Prevention and Fighting Police, Hanoi recorded 831 cases of fire in 2016, with 19 people dieing.