Arson blamed for NE China's deadly hotel fire: police

09:32, May 03, 2011      

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An initial investigation into the hotel fire that killed 10 and injured 35 in northeast China's Jilin Province early Sunday morning showed that the blaze was caused by arson, local police said Monday.

Police have brought the case on file and an further investigation is underway, the city's public security department said in a statement.

The fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. at a building which houses a hotel of Home Inns, the country's largest budget hotel operator, in Dongchang District of Tonghua City in Jilin Province.H The seven-storey building has a karaoke bar and a restaurant on the first and second floors and the Home Inns hotel is based on the floors above.

Initial investigation found the fire started at the shared stair hall on the first floor and spread to the second floor, which then sent heavy smokes up.

The ten, mostly from the fifth and seventh floors, were choked to death.

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