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Fire Breaks Out in Restaurant-Packed District of Kitakyushu; Buildings Damaged, No Injuries Reported (UPDATE 1)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Flames engulf a restaurant district in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday afternoon.

KITAKYUSHU — A number of restaurants suffered damage after a fire broke out in a dining and shopping district filled with holiday patrons in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday afternoon.

There were no reports of injuries or people trapped in the fire, according to the Kokura-kita Police Station of the Fukuoka prefectural police.

One restaurant staff member reportedly said the fire started from a pot. The restaurant is one of many packing the Torimachi Shokudogai district of Kokura-kita Ward, about 300 meters south of JR Kokura Station.

At about 3:10 p.m., fire authorities received an emergency call about smoke emerging from a building. The fire spread to a number of surrounding buildings and about 30 firetrucks were dispatched to the scene.

The Kitakyushu city fire department said the fire was contained about 4½ hours later by around 7:45 p.m.

Torimachi Shokudogai, which is said to have originated as a postwar black market, connects with the Uomachi Gintengai shopping arcade that was completed in 1951. It is lined with various restaurants, including the birthplace of the Kokura specialty of stir-fried udon noodles.

The nearby Tanga Market, located about 300 meters away, suffered major fires in April and August of 2022.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fire and smoke are seen in a dining district in Kitakyushu on Wednesday afternoon.