Chaos Erupts as Mother and Two Children Die in Gotanda Ginza Fire | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Chaos Erupts as Mother and Two Children Die in Gotanda Ginza Fire

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Headquarters Forensics Section personnel and others were conducting forensic work at the scene.

On May 23rd, around 1:30 PM, a fire broke out in a two-story residence in Togoshi, Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, engulfing approximately 3 square meters of the interior. The authorities received a report from relatives who visited the house, stating that it was locked and smelled of burning.

At the scene, the bodies of a woman in her 30s, presumed to be the mother, and four children were found on futons in the first-floor Japanese-style room. Additionally, a man in his 40s who was inside the house was transported to the hospital after inhaling smoke, but he remained conscious. The man is believed to be the former husband of the deceased woman.

When the fire department arrived, the fire had already been extinguished, and by 2 PM, it was completely under control. The bodies of the four individuals discovered had stab wounds and cuts, prompting the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s First Investigation Division and the Ebara Police Station to conduct a detailed investigation into the exact cause.

The scene is close to the nostalgic atmosphere of the Togoshi Ginza shopping street and the Togoshi Hachiman Shrine in downtown Tokyo. At the time of the incident, fire trucks and police vehicles entered the shopping street one after another, creating a chaotic atmosphere. The house where the incident occurred is located in a narrow lane, further complicating access. Firefighters and police officers were seen bustling back and forth.

After the fire was extinguished, firefighters withdrew, and at the same time, investigators from the Ebara Police Station, members of the Mobile Investigation Unit, as well as personnel from the First Investigation Division and the Headquarters Forensic Division, arrived on the scene to commence a full-fledged investigation.

When residents were asked about the situation at the time of the fire, one said, “Many fire trucks arrived, so I thought it was a fire, but I couldn’t see any smoke, so I wondered if it was a false alarm. This area is densely populated, so it’s not uncommon for fires to occur. But I never imagined it would be such an incident.” Another resident expressed shock, saying, “They seemed like a close-knit family, so I’m just stunned. Why did something like this happen?”

Residents who came to shop in the shopping street expressed confusion, saying, “I came to the store right over there, but the police told me I couldn’t go inside the cordon. The store is right in front of my eyes and it’s open, but I can’t shop.” The use of cordons caused confusion among shoppers, with barricades set up in various places, forcing detours.

The police are conducting further investigations by interviewing the former husband to ascertain the circumstances at the time.

Around 3:30 p.m., the fire department pulled out completely, and the police began a full-scale investigation.
Investigation Section 1 and riot police officers were also scurrying back and forth to the scene.
A large number of reporters were on the scene.
The Togoshiginza shopping district was cordoned off and many police vehicles were parked, leaving shoppers in a state of confusion.
  • Photography, Interview, Text Takuma Arimura

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