News24

Chinese woman held for foster home's fire

2013-01-05 07:24

Beijing - The woman, who ran the private foster home that burnt down in China, has been taken into custody, the state broadcaster has reported.

A fire killed at least seven children on Friday at a private foster home housing 34 abandoned children in the central Chinese province of Henan, state media said.

The fire broke out about 08:00 (00:00 GMT) at the home in Lankao county and was extinguished by fire-fighters about two hours later, the official China.com.cn website reported.

The number injured remained unclear and police were still investigating the cause of the fire, the report said.

It said four children died at the home, three more died on the way to hospital and one injured child was under treatment.

The home was run by Yuan Lihai, a woman who was well known locally for helping abandoned children and had cared for more than 100 children since 1987, state broadcaster China Central Television said.

The broadcaster said police detained Yuan, 48, for questioning following the fire.

It quoted officials as saying 21 boys and 13 girls had been living at Yuan's home, including 16 children with disabilities.

But the reports did not say if any of the 26 children unaccounted for on Friday were rescued or missing following the fire.

Yuan reportedly sold items in front of the county hospital to pay for her care of the children.