It has been 20 years since the fire in the building in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, which killed 44 people.

At that time, three members of the Tokyo Fire Department who rescued the scene responded to the interview, saying, "Never let it weather. I want you to remember that time again." rice field.

Before dawn on September 1, 2001, a fire broke out in a multi-tenant building in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, and a total of 44 employees and customers were at the Mahjong game store on the 3rd floor and the restaurant on the 4th floor. died.



Twenty years before the fire, three members of the Tokyo Fire Department, including Makio Kikuchi (58), who was the captain at the rescue site, spoke to the press about the harsh conditions at that time. rice field.



According to it, the members first went to rescue the people left behind on the 3rd floor, but the heat of the fire peeled off the tiles of the stairs and dyed them bright red, and the aluminum fence melted first. It is said that it was in a state where it could not proceed.



Regarding the situation at that time, Mr. Kikuchi said, "The stairs were like a red slide. It was the first and last experience that I couldn't get inside because it was hot."



For this reason, we aimed to go up one step at a time while pouring water on the stairs.



In addition, because cardboard and lockers were piled up on the stairs, the gap that could be passed was only about 30 to 40 cm, which was a big obstacle to rescue.

And when I finally reached the 3rd and 4th floors, many people fell to the floor, and some of them still had their mobile phones in their hands.



At that time, there was a report in the fire department command room saying, "Please help me as soon as possible. I will die as it is." Mr. Kikuchi said, "I thought I was asking for help, and it was really painful. I remember carrying them one by one while holding back my tears. "



At the end, as they became dehydrated and their physical strength was approaching the limit, the members climbed the stairs step by step while lifting their own legs that were stuck with both hands, and carried all 44 people out.



Mr. Kikuchi and his colleagues emphasized that "at that time, there might have been a person who saved his life if there were no obstacles on the stairs," and "20 years have passed since the fire, but it should never be weathered. At that time. I want you to remember that again, "he said, calling for thorough fire prevention measures in multi-tenant buildings.

Feeling of weathering of memory Some members respond to interviews for the first time in 20 years since the fire

Of the three members, two, except Mr. Kikuchi, responded to the interview for the first time after 20 years have passed since the building fire in Kabukicho, Shinjuku.



Of these, Takashi Kawagoe (49) is said to have not told other members or his family about the fire because his painful memories at that time were revived.



However, after 20 years, I felt that the memory of the fire had faded, and decided to respond to the interview if this should not be the case.



Mr. Kawagoe said, "I was sad and painful, and I didn't want to remember it again, but as we get older and change generations, we have to tell our juniors about that time as a member of the organization. I have come to feel that. "



According to Mr. Kawagoe, when he was rescued, he was blocked from reaching various obstacles on the stairs, contrary to his desire to help him quickly.



It is said that a large number of hand towels were placed on the landing, and it was remembered that each floor was burning like a fire pot.



Regarding the situation at this time, "The air respirator we carry usually lasts about 20 minutes, but looking back on that time, it took less than 10 minutes just to go up from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor. That's the strong pressure. In addition to feeling that, I think it is a proof that the activities in the field were extremely difficult. "



Also, when the people who were left behind were rescued, it was said that they were in a state where they were deprived of their physical strength and their arms were weakened at the end, but they wrapped the rescued person with a rope and carried it around their neck. is.



Mr. Kawagoe recalled, "I remembered that the captain had told me,'Who will do it if we don't do it. We're the last one.'"



In addition, Mr. Yasuaki Kuroki (50) had the same feelings as Mr. Kawagoe and responded to the interview for the first time.



Mr. Kuroki said, "There were many mobile phones around the fallen people at the scene, and the ringing sound of the incoming call never stopped. I think that my worried family and friends kept making calls. I remember crying and working with the idea that I'll help you as soon as possible, "he recalled.



On top of that, "If the building's fire protection measures were solid, some people might have saved their lives. We would like to continue to appeal for fire prevention as our mission so as not to waste the wishes of the deceased." I was talking.

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