National

Bar's disengaged fire alarm may have delayed response to Golden Gai inferno

Kyodo

The fire alarm in a bar on the second floor of a building that caught fire in Tokyo’s historic Golden Gai entertainment district failed to function because it was disengaged while the business was under renovation, investigative sources said.

The disengaged fire alarm probably delayed the discovery of the fire, which occurred early Tuesday afternoon and destroyed three buildings and injured a woman in her 60s, the sources said.

Hiroshi Haruna, 66, an unemployed man with no fixed address, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of trespassing in the building where the fire broke out. He admitted going to the second floor of the building and police are investigating his role in the fire.

According to investigative sources, Haruna entered the building at around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, just 10 minutes before the fire started in a second floor bar that was under renovation.

Renovators who had been working on the second floor had left without locking the door around 12:30 p.m. The fire broke out at around 1:30 p.m.

Security camera footage showed Haruna going through a door that leads to the second floor of the building at around 1:20 p.m.