This building is of the highest architectural value NE China has to offer. It exists in one place only, the Daowai district of Harbin. It is called Chinese Baroque. But despite its significance, the people who live in them have been mostly pushed aside by the economic boom of China. These places are the dumps. The official cause of the fire was an electrical issue... the word in the neighborhood was arson. I subscribe to the latter... easier to knock down and build something new when there isn't anyone inside to protest-- all a in the cracks of the boom.