2011 Spring Festival: the Aftermath or…

“What happens when 1 billion Chinese all shoot fireworks at the same time?”

2011 Spring Festival Fire in Shenyang

Answer: A really big fire.

The haze you see in that photo is from smoke. Well, mostly. Some of it is from the dirty window because this hasn’t happened since I wrote that post.

Largest hotel in Shenyang burned to a crisp

**Note: these used to be “twin towers”… they looked just alike a few days ago. They look different now because the left one is burnt to a crisp (in case you couldn’t tell from the photo).**

This past week not only did we have a front row seat to the craziest firework display I’ve ever imagined, but we also had a close up view to the biggest fire Shenyang has seen in… I don’t actually know how many years and I’m not going to just make up a number like most writers would but I’d guess it’s been a long time. It was a really big fire.

Unfortunately I don’t have photos or video of the actual fire. We somehow slept through it. It’s a little disconcerting considering there are at least a HUNDRED firetrucks lining the street, although I guess if you can go to sleep with that kind of firework display going off right outside the window it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Is that not RIDICULOUS?

It was a 5-star hotel and one of the most expensive in the city. It was also the tallest building in Shenyang. This was especially unfortunate considering the firetrucks could only reach up to 50 meters. This hotel was 219 meters tall. They were fighting a losing battle.

Even more scary. We just realized that our apartment is 11 floors up (ok, we didn’t just realize that, but keep reading.) We’re pretty sure we’re higher than 50 meters and are therefore screwed if a fire were to break out in our building. I’m just banking on the fact that 2 fires right across the street from each other would be way too much of a coincidence to happen in real life. Even for China.

AND I just wrote it down so you are my witnesses, making it even less likely… right?


Just agree with me.

The aftermath of Chinese New Year fireworks

The smoke was still pouring out at noon the next afternoon. We also found out we’re the closest building not to be evacuated. Even today. I think they are worried it’s going to collapse. Seems like a valid concern to me so I’ve been watching closely.

I want photos.

And hopefully to have time to get out of the way.

Here are a couple of news articles on the fire if you are interested:
Fire at five-star hotel in Shenyang
Fireworks Spark High-Rise Blaze in China


4 thoughts on “2011 Spring Festival: the Aftermath or…

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  2. Ummm, I’m speechless for several reasons. 1st…. you guys slept thru that?!?! 2nd… I’m amazed at the differences between the Chinese culture and the American culture. You are living a learning experience.

  3. The fire started just after midnight. How did you ever miss it? Course there was so much smoke by about 9:30 it was hard to see the fireworks.

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