Images of the Beijing Fire

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Below are a few photos from the fire that gutted a building in the new China Central Television complex in Beijing tonight. I rode my bike in from the north, and it appeared that the entire complex was aflame, including the famous twisting towers that are the new CCTV headquarters. But upon closer inspection the fire appears to be limited to the building just to the north, which was built to house a Mandarin Oriental hotel scheduled to open this year. Flames climbed several stories up the building and at one point appeared to be coming out of the roof. Much of the structure suffered significant damage. As Simon pointed out below today is the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Large crowds of people are out, and many gathered in the business district to watch the fire. The moon is full, and fireworks have been going off all day. The period when fireworks are permitted within the city ends at midnight. As I rode away from the fire I saw an old man with a roman candle in his hand, launching flaming spheres into the night sky.