• Kyodo, Staff Report


Four days have passed since a fire broke out at a warehouse used by office supply vender Askul Corp. in Saitama Prefecture, but there are still no prospects for putting it out, firefighters said.

The three-story warehouse spans 72,000 sq. meters of floor space in the town of Miyoshi and is one of seven nationwide Askul uses to store its office supplies.

On Sunday, two explosions were heard and 16 people in six households nearby were told to evacuate. The high temperature inside could cause the entire building to collapse, the firefighters said.

The cause of the fire, which started Thursday, has yet to be determined, the firefighters said, adding that two male employees of the warehouse were taken to hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation.

About 45,000 sq. meters of the warehouse have been gutted so far.

Askul, based in Tokyo, is an online business controlled by Yahoo Japan Corp.

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