Osaka apartment fire claims five in Toyonaka


Five people died overnight during a fire at an apartment building in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, police said Saturday.

A female resident in her 80s was confirmed dead after being taken to a hospital, while the unidentified body of a male was found Friday night at the wooden two-story apartment, the police said. Three other unidentified bodies were recovered on Saturday.

Fifteen residents and a manager lived in the building, with most of them singles in their 60s to 80s, the police said. Autopsies will be performed to determine if the four unidentified bodies are those of the four people unaccounted for.

The fire, which took about three hours to extinguish, is believed to have started accidentally as there was no smell of oil nor reports of suspicious people at the site, the police said.

According to a witness, the fire started on the first floor and quickly spread to the rest of the building after an explosion was heard. All of the bodies except for the woman’s were found on the first floor, the police said.

The building is in a dense residential area near Hattori-tenjin Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line.