Famous fire disasters in recent history

Many fire disasters in recent history have occured due to downright negligence and lackadaisical attitudes towards fire safety. While you would expect fires to be frequent in the olden days due to the poor construction and fire safety standards of those times, things are not much better today, and it boils down to lax attitudes concerning the danger of fire.

A fire alarm can help prevent fire, but the basic principles of fire safety must never be ignored. Fires occuring in enclosed spaces like buildings are very deadly and can kill in minutes. If you think fires are not something to be concerned about, just browse the short list of famous fire disasters in recent times, below:

Mesa Redonda fire (2001) - The worst recorded fire in Peruvian history occured when illegal fireworks exploded in the crowded Mesa Redonda shipping center, engulfing the area and surroundings with fire, and killing almost 300 people.

Ozone Disco Club fire (1996) - The worst fire in Phillipines history occured at the Ozone Disco Club when a jam-packed disco caught fire and most of the victims succumbed to smoke inhalation. 162 people perished in that fire.

Gothenburg disco fire (1998) - One of the worst fires in Sweden occured at a discotheque in Gothenburg, Sweden when a fire broke out at an overcrowded nightclub with poor fire safety standards. 63 people perished in that fire.

Cro-Magnon Republic fire (2004) - A fire broke out at this nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during a concert, killing 194 people. The fire occured due to foam in the ceiling catching fire from pyrotechnic flares, and the poor state of fire readiness in that building.

Myojo 56 fire (2001) - Despite Tokyo's high tech image and supposedly strict building regulations, a fire still occured at the Myojo 56 building, resulting in 44 fatalities and was one of the worst fires in postwar Japan. It was determined that many fire safety violations as well as negligence contributed to the lethality of the fire.

Luoyang Christmas fire (2000) - A fire broke out at a building in Luoyang, China, trapping scores of people in the upper floors who were celebrating Christmas Day, killing 309.

Ho Chi Minh City ITC fire (2002) - One of the deadliest fires in Vietnam's history since the Vietnam war, in which 60 lives were lost. The fire occured in an upscale shopping center, and was believed to have been started from sparks and faulty wiring.

Paraguay supermarket fire (2004) - This deadly fire in Paraguay killed 374 people when a shopping complex caught fire, resulting in two explosions and a blaze that burned for hours, before it could finally be put out. A twist in the tragedy came forth to light when it was learned that the supermarket owner instructed doors within the supermarket to be closed, fearing theft of his goods, during the fire. What he didn't realize was that all his goods got burned in the fire as well. He was subsequently found guilty of negligent homicide and sent to jail.

Santika Club fire (2009) - 66 people were killed in this fire, which started just minutes after the New Year's Day countdown. Once again, poor fire safety standards, fireworks, and no prior fire inspections whatsoever, contributed to the fire.

Russian Perm fire (2009) - At least 150 people were killed in this fire in the city of Perm, that happened on Dec 5, 2009. This fire happened at a nightclub called Lame Horse, and bears similarities to the Santika Club fire in that stage pyrotechnics set alight the ceiling which was composed of flamable material and there were no adequate safety exits for the large crowd. Fires are commonplace in Russia where safety rules are lax. Many fires go unreported too.

Karachi/Lahore Garment Factory Fires (2012) - The garment/textile industry in Pakistan is highly unregulated, with poor building safety standards and work conditions; fires often happen. However, a series of fires on Sept 11, 2012, in Karachi and Lahore were the worst in the nation's history, resulting in 312 people killed as a result.

Dhaka Factory Fire (2012) - The same year as the Karachi fires, another fire broke out at the Tazreen Fashion Factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, resulting in 124 deaths. It's considered the worst fire in Bangladesh's history, and some suspect it was caused by arson. However, the poor design of the building and inadequate fire safety standards, meant many were trapped inside when the fire broke out.

Jilin Baoyuanfeng Fire (2013) - On 3 June 2013, a fire at a poultry farm at Jilin, China, claimed at least 120 lives. It is believed that an ammonia leak caused explosions, which set the fire off. Due to locked doors, most of those who died were trapped in the building and perished as a result of not being able to escape in time.

Valenzuela Factory Fire (2015) - This fire ranks as one of the worst in Philippines' history. 74 people died in this fire that broke out at the Kentex slipper factory in Valenzuela, Philippines. Poor working conditions, and poor safety standards resulted in the high death toll. Most who died were trapped in the building and died of smoke inhalation.