Fire fighters bring huge blaze under control after it reaches 140 houses

Fire fighters bring huge blaze under control after it reaches 140 houses

A huge fire that spread to about 140 buildings in a small city on Japan's western coast has been brought under control after authorities called in extra firefighters to tackle the blaze.

The fire started at a ramen shop in Itoigawa city, Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

Fanned by winds gusting up to 35mph per hour, the fire had reached about 140 houses and other buildings by mid-afternoon.

Fire and rescue units from nearby prefectures were brought in to help and the blaze was finally brought under control more than 10 hours after it was detected.

There were two reports of minor injuries: one woman who inhaled smoke and another who fell.

Authorities issued an evacuation advisory for more than 740 people at 360 homes designated as high risk.

The ramen shop was in a shopping arcade north-west of the city's main train station, the area crowded with old wooden houses, according to Kyodo News.

Itoigawa is on the Japan Sea coast in Niigata prefecture, about 160 north-west of Tokyo. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

AP

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