|Six building on De La Thanh Street, Hanoi caught fire at 6pm on September 17. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The first house caught fire at approximately 6 p.m. and just 30 minutes later, the blaze had spread to five stores nearby. The stores mostly sell mattresses and wood products.
Massive flames and a black column of smoke are rising from the buildings, which are just a few meters away from the National Hospital of Pediatrics and the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Hundreds of patients, many of them children, and their family members had to flee in panic.
Police and firefighting units have been deployed and are fighting the fire. The entire street has been barricaded, causing severe traffic jams in the vicinity.
As of 7:30 p.m., the fire has been put under control. Outpatients who came from outside the city are struggling to find a place to stay as their rent rooms near the hospitals have been damaged.