Around 3:53 pm on December 21 KST, a fire swept over the eight-story building, which consists of multiple leisure facilities including a fitness center, sauna, indoor golf, and more.
According to witnesses, the fire started from the parking lot in the basement with a loud "boom" sound. Media outlets state the maze-like interior of the facility made it more difficult for people to exit the building. The fire was put out by 5:40 pm.
Firefighters searched the building for over 5 hours. In the women's spa located on the 2nd floor, 20 dead bodies were found. An additional 9 dead bodies were found in the gym located on the 6th and 7th floor. 24 of the dead identified to be women, 3 identified to be men, and the remaining 2 have not yet been identified. There were also a total of 29 others who were injured.
The fire at Jaecheon fitness center is deemed the deadliest fire in 9 years since the Icheon fire incident in 2008 where 40 were found dead.
Meanwhile, President Moon has ordered a thorough investigation into the fire breakout.