Factory Goes up in Smoke in the Middle of Residential Neighborhood

A massive fire in a tire factory in Taoyuan County’s Zhongli (Chungli) District resulted in a pall of smoke that could be seen from the neighboring Hsinchu County and New Taipei City. Fortunately no injuries or fatalities were recorded, but a legislator called for the factory to be relocated to an industrial zone.

Taiwan lags behind many countries when it comes to zoning laws. Many neighborhoods offer a mix of industrial, commercial, and residential establishments. Manufacturing facilities are even often located inside residential buildings.

Taoyuan County, Zhongli District representative Wang Haoyu (王浩宇) said that to protect the health of children, and in the greater interests of the residents of Zhongli, the Tai Fung Tire factory needs to relocate to an industrial zone.

Tai Fung Tyre Co., Ltd has been operating the facility since 1955, and since, a city has grown around it.

More than 300 firefighters along with 87 firetrucks were dispatched to battle the blaze from 3:39pm until 9:50pm. Some firefighters stayed at the site and continued to douse the smoldering piles of tires until 5:30am this morning.

Seven residential buildings located next to the buildings were affected, and 141 residents were evacuated and provided with accommodation in nearby hotels and motels.

aerial view of tire factory yard after fire
Aerial view of the Tai Feng Tyre factory on Tuesday morning January 18, 2017, the day after a fire destroyed the plant. Picture: Liberty Times Network.
fire in a tire factory billows smoke from Taoyuan County Chungli District Taiwan
Fire billows from a tire factory in Taoyuan District, Taiwan, January 17, 2017. Photo: 蔡小桃 Facebook public post.
pall of smoke rising from tire factory in Taoyuan County, Taiwan January 17, 2017
Smoke rising into the atmosphere from a fire in Taoyuan County Taiwan.
firefighter lays down to rest
An exhausted firefighter is seen taking a rest after working all night after a fire broke out at a tire factory in Taoyuan County January 17. Picture found on Facebook.
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2 thoughts on “Factory Goes up in Smoke in the Middle of Residential Neighborhood

  • January 18, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Every time I see some kind of permanent tent set up blocking a street, or cars and scooters parked way into the street, or super-narrow alleys, I think about…. fire safety. How the hell are they supposed to get a fire engine down any such roads? It all seems like accidents waiting to happen. Is there a single smoke alarm in my building? I have no idea!

    Though there are countless things I love about Taiwan, this point makes me rather nervous.

    • January 18, 2017 at 11:37 am

      The first place I lived in had a plastics factory on the first floor that manufactured sex toys. I never gave it a thought at the time, but since being able to understand local media over the last few years, I now realize how dangerous it is to have industrial manufacturing inside a residential building. Imagine sleeping above a space full of barrels of epoxy resin and other chemicals. It’s insane.


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