National

Seven bodies found after fire guts home in Akita

Kyodo

Seven bodies have been recovered after a fire burned down a house and spread to two nearby structures in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, on Friday night, police and firefighters said.

The authorities are trying to identify the bodies, believing that they are the seven members of the three-generation family living at the home of Yoshizo Ito, 78. So far, only Ito’s daughther-in-law, Anna, 27, has been identified.

The firefighters received a call that Ito’s home, surrounded by farmland, was in flames at around 9 p.m. and dispatched five fire engines. The fire was extinguished around two and a half hours later.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. The local weather observatory said a dry air advisory was issued for Yuzawa at that time.

The Yuzawa police say they have been unable to locate the other six: Ito, his wife Tomi, 80, his son Mitsuhiro, 41, and his three daughters, Airi, 6, Yuna, 5, and Fuka, 3.

According to a neighbor, he heard a bursting sound just after 9 p.m. and saw flames coming out of the west side of the house where the bathroom is located.