At around 3:40 a.m., flames could be seen coming from the first and basement floors of Take Pride Academy, located in the Fukuhara entertainment area. According to Hyogo Prefectural Police, a total of 40 square meters of the reinforced concrete structure was burned in the blaze, which required two hours to extinguish.
Three male employees, aged in their 20s and 30s, received serious burns to their arms and faces, while a 45-year-old man suffered minor injuries to his face, according to Nikkan Sports (Jan. 5).
As to the cause of the blast, prefectural police said that gas from a spray can being used by an employee in the basement had been ignited by a lighter.
Promotional Web sites indicate that basic services at Take Pride Academy begin at 15,000 yen for the first 45 minutes.
At the time of the fire, the soapland was closed.