Ben Blanchard
February 9, 2009

Editor’s note: Using U.S. government logic, this building should have collapsed from the fire.

Fire consumed a building in Beijing that formed part of Central China Television’s new headquarters, as residents launched fireworks throughout the city to celebrate the Lantern Festival Monday evening.

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Flames 20-30 feet high shot out of the building, just north of the landmark CCTV tower designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The flames were reflected in the tower, which itself appeared to be untouched.

“The upper fifth is on fire, multiple floors. Debris is falling and flames are coming out in all directions,” Edie Marshall, a Beijing resident, told Reuters.

No-one appeared to have been in the building, a policeman on the scene said, adding he had no immediate knowledge of any casualties.

Hundreds of people watched and took photos amid an acrid smell as fire trucks sprayed streams of water on the building. Armed police moved the onlookers beyond a cordon as paramilitary troops moved in on the building.

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