• The Latest: Fire alarm wasn't heard inside Vietnam condos

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The Latest on a condominium fire in Vietnam (all times local):

    2 p.m.

    State media is reporting the fire alarms weren't heard in a large condominium complex in southern Vietnam where a fire killed at least 13 people.

    Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Ho Chi Minh City Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong as saying that he was told by residents that the fire alarm system at the condominium did not work and residents alerted others to the fire themselves.

    State media have said police rescued more than 100 residents while more than 1,000 escaped on their own. The fire apparently started in the basement garage and sent black smoke swirling toward the upper floors.

    The paper also quoted Senior Lieut. Col. Nguyen Thanh Huong, the city's chief fire officer, as saying previous regulations allowing fire safety inspections four times a year had been reduced to once a year to reduce disturbing residents and businesses, but firefighters do not feel safe with the new regulations.

    Huong also said there were cases, particularly in cheap condominiums, where inferior alarm systems falsely went off and residents switched it off.


    11:30 a.m.

    Vietnam's state media say police rescued more than 100 residents from a condominium fire in Ho Chi Minh City and more than 1,000 escaped the fire themselves.

    The blaze early Friday morning killed at least 13 people and injured 27 others. It's not known if there are others missing.

    More than 700 apartments are in the three-building complex.

    State media quoted fire officials as saying the smoke spread because doors that separated the garage from the upper floors were left open when they should have been closed. The fire started in the basement garage.


    9 a.m.

    A city official says a fire at a condominium complex in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City has killed at least 13 people and injured another 27.

    The city fire and police department official says it's unclear whether anyone is missing in the blaze early Friday morning and declined to give more details.

    More than 700 apartments in the three buildings were built six years ago.

    The official Vietnam News Agency reported that most people died of suffocation or jumping from high floors.

    It said the blaze started in the basement parking area and took more than 200 firefighters more than an hour to put under control.

    In 2002, a fire at a trade center in the southern commercial hub's downtown killed 60 people in one of Vietnam's worst fires.

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