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2004.02.11

秋葉原ヤマギワソフト館火災

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▲見るも無惨なヤマギワソフト館
 都内でいくつか用件をすませ、パーツを買うために秋葉原へ。
 いつものように電気街口を降り、中央通りに出る。と、なにやら様子がおかしい。車がいない。テレビがいる。警察だ。

 末広町方面を見ると、消防車が連なっていた。すわ、テロか、サリンか。

 どうも大騒ぎという雰囲気でもなかったので、大型ビルでぼや騒ぎでもあったかと、人が集まっている方向へ歩いていく。…ありゃ、ヤマギワソフト館が黒焦げだ。1階から3階まで、見るも無惨に全焼している。一階のミスタードーナツもほぼ全焼。割れたガラスが、炎のすさまじさを物語っていた。あのミスド、僕の行きつけだったのだが。

 火災はすでにほぼ鎮火した後だったせいか、あたりには安堵感にも似た、ぬるい空気が漂っていた。向かいの歩道では、数十人の人々が一様に携帯電話を目の前にかざし、荒れ狂った火之神に鎮火の祈祷をささげるかのように写真を撮っている。人の不幸に興味本位でレンズを向けるとはけしからん。僕はバッグから一眼レフを取りだし、この事件を余すところなく記録した。
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▲けしからん野次馬たち。よく見るとレポーターもいる
 現場を目の当たりにし、ふとふり返るとそこは別世界。現場の真向かいにあるラオックスアソビット館では、少年たちがPS2にむらがり、キャンペーンのおねーさんがヤフーBBに加入しるゴルァ!と通行人に因縁をつけている。火事など、どこ吹く風というふうである。
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▲ゲームしてる場合じゃないだろ
 ヤマギワのすぐ裏、PCパーツ店街も、ほとんどの店が平常通り営業していた。消防士が慌ただしく駆け回り、ホースから水があふれる中、おたく少年たちがぞろぞろとマニアックな店に吸い込まれていく。たった今大火事があったばかりなのに、マニアな人たちはすごいなあと思いつつ、僕はヤマギワの裏にある「DOS/Vパラダイス」に入っていった。
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▲裏通りはいつも通りの活気。上にちらりと見えているのは現場であるヤマギワの看板
 犠牲者はいなかったそうで、よかった。

朝日の記事へ

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