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A fire broke out in Wuhan after people disinfected their home with alcohol amid the novel coronavirus scare.

Posts by Wuhan Fire Service and Chongqing Fire Department on their verified Weibo accounts disprove the statement.

A video clip of a building covered in flames has been circulated on social media (Twitter, for instance) claiming that an explosion had been caused by the use of alcohol disinfectant in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the 2019-novel coronavirus outbreak.

Wuhan Fire Service has posted the same video clip on its Weibo account and has added the 'rumour refutation' seal on the video. It states that the post has gone viral with the claim that a resident at Jiaxingyuan, Gutian 4rd Road, Wuhan, used alcohol disinfectant which led to a fire and an explosion. According to the fire service, the blaze took place at a building at Jiazhou Garden residential area in Chongqing on 1 January 2020.

Chongqing Fire Service has also made a post on Weibo confirming that the fire was ignited by a cigarette at building A4 in Jiazhou Garden residential area, Yubei District, Chongqing city on 1 January 2020 which did not cause any casualties.

Therefore, it is verified that the viral video is of the fire ignited by a cigarette at a residential block in Chongqing and was not ignited with disinfectant alcohol in Wuhan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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